On May 21, 2015 the Italian Deputy Chamber (Standing Committee of Transports, Postal Services and Telecommunications – “Committee”) issued the final report (“Report”) concluding its official survey on audiovisual media services (“AVMS”), available here.

During the long-lasting survey (started on April 30, 2014), the Committee had the chance to organize several hearings of the stakeholders, including broadcasters, radio and network operators, internet service providers, as well as their respective trade-union representatives. Also members of the Government and the Italian Communications Authority took part to the hearings.

The Committee analyzed and proposed certain amendments to the existing AVMS regulatory framework, also on the basis of the EU Commission Green Paper “Preparing for a Fully Converged Audiovisual World: Growth, Creation and Values” of April 24, 2013 (click here for the complete text).

The Report can be summarized as follows:

  1. the current regulatory framework of AVMS, as set forth by the AVMS Directive (2010/13/EU) and its implementing internal law provisions (in Italy, the AVMS Code, Legislative Decree no. 177/2005) is widely “shaken” by the media “convergence” , i.e. the interaction between the traditional media (TV) and internet, which allows new forms of fruition of AVMS (e.g., Smart TV, OTT and Hybrid-OTT AVMS, etc.);
  2. in light of the above, the Committee is in line with the recent EU Commission Communication on “A Digital Single Market Strategy for Europe” of May 6, 2015 (available here), which announces a reform of the AVMS Directive, is based on a unique regulatory framework for any type of AVMS provider (linear, on-demand, OTT) in particular in the fields of promotion of European works, minors’ protection and advertising thresholds;
  3. the Committee is also particularly concerned about the data protection issues arising from the use of Big Data, for programmatic advertising by the most important ISPs (we will discuss the phenomenon at our Big Data Workshop on June 16, 2015). In this regard, the Committee suggests the adoption by the EU of the necessary measures in order to distinguish the search-engine activities and the other commercial activities carried out by the same ISP.