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Italy: EU Commission approves €120m to support newspaper publishers

The European Commission has approved, under EU State aid rules, a €120 million Italian scheme to support publishers of newspapers and periodicals. The scheme aims to ensure the availability of newspapers and periodicals in Italy and to protect the quality of the Italian language in printed publications. Under the scheme, newspaper and periodical publishers will be entitled to tax credits covering up to 30% of the paper costs incurred in 2021 and 2022. The measure will be applied for the fiscal years 2022 and 2023.

The Commission assessed the scheme under EU State aid rules, in particular Article 107(3)(c) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, which enables Member States to support the development of certain economic activities or areas. The Commission found that the measure is necessary and appropriate to achieve the objectives pursued, namely the development of the news media sector, wide access to newspapers and periodicals, and promotion of media pluralism.

The Commission concluded that the measure is proportionate, i.e. limited to the minimum necessary, and will have a limited impact on competition and trade between Member States. On this basis, the Commission approved the scheme under EU State aid rules. The non-confidential version of the decision will be made available under the case number SA.103737 in the State aid register on the Commission’s competition website once any confidentiality issues have been resolved.

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