Whose Regulation, Which Competition?
- ASCOLA Competition Law series
Edited by Hanns Ullrich
Comment Peristera Kremmyda* 1 PRELIMINARY REMARKS As Professor Idot, very rightly, makes clear in her chapter, one of the core issues that we are faced with when discussing ‘media concentration’ is the question of the balance between sector-specific regulation and competition law. However, before going ahead to discuss the issue, there are two preliminary questions that need to be answered. First, is competition law alone a sufficient tool to tackle concentration in the media? In other words, can we envisage getting rid of sector-specific regulation altogether? And, second, what kind of sector-specific regulation do we talk about in the context of the media? The two issues are clearly and closely inter-linked. The first question can be answered very rapidly. No, competition law alone is not a sufficient or an adequate tool to tackle concentration in the media. The reason being that, if concentration in the media is considered a subject worth discussing in its own right, as opposed to concentration in the automobile or food industries, it is because the concerns raised are not solely of an economic nature. The media is, indeed, a multi-billion industry with important repercussions on growth and employment but, at the same time, the structure of ownership in the sector can have, and does have, even more important implications with regard to the functioning of a democratic society. It is this second function of the media, which is often discussed in terms of cultural and political pluralism in the media, which makes concentration of ownership...
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