The EU legislative process has finally come to an end: the EU AudioVisual Directive has been approved and the

recent AgCom report brings interesting insights relating to Telecommunications sector in Italy.

Media – Approval of the Audiovisual Directive by the EU

After the EU Parliament positive vote in October 2018, on the 6th November 2018 the EU Council finally adopted the new Audiovisual Media Services Directive.

The new directive modifies the existing legal framework based on the 2010 directive to take account of the recent market developments: viewing habits have changed, rapid technical developments have sparked new types of services and user-generated content has gained in importance as highlighted also in the recent copyright Directive.

The revised legislation changes the media landscape for broadcasters and video-on-demand platforms, redefining advertising limits and enhancing the promotion of European works, but also strengthening the protection of minors against harmful content and limiting profiling and behaviourally targeted advertising.

Notably, as previously highlighted in this post, the text extends the European audiovisual directive rules to video-sharing platforms, which will now be responsible for reacting quickly when content is reported or flagged by users as harmful and may be asked to create a transparent, easy-to-use and effective mechanism to allow users to report or flag content.

The approval of the Audiovisual Directive requires now for its coming into force the elapse of the 20th day after its publication in the Official Journal of the EU. Member States will have only 21 months after its publication to transpose the new rules into national legislation.

My view is that companies shall start to evaluate how the new rules of the AudioVisual Directive may impact their business also taking into account the recent EU Guidelines on safeguarding privacy in the media.

Telecom – AgCom report reveals the situation in Italy

The Italian Communication Authority recently published a comprehensive report providing an overall economic analysis of the main electronic communications providers operating in the Italian market in the last 4 years (2013-2107).

According to the report, the overall estimated revenues to be generated in 2019 is 31.7 billion, (5.4% less than in 2013) and the employment rate is constantly diminishing of 0.6 % each year.

While the statistical data collected may be considered partially undermined by the recent M&A deal between 2 major telecom operators in Italy, it is interesting to note that after a critical period (around 2013 and 2015), the recovery and profitability rates are starting to grow and companies are investing in Italy.

Recently in fact the Italian government raised 6.6 billion euros, (about $7.8 billion) for the 5G mobile spectrum auction.

My view is that although the slow growth position of the Italian market, considering the arrival of newcomers and the large investments reached for 5G, there are great possibilities that the market will expand as soon as possible and companies should better be ahead to face this challenge.