The European Court of Human Rights has condemned the state of Italy to pay €10 million damages to the broadcaster Europa 7.
Italy failed to issue a digital broadcasting licence to Francescantonio Di Stefano, owner of the Europa 7 channel.
In its judgment, the judges have ruled that in denying the frequencies to Europa 7, the Italian authorities violated the right to protection of private property and caused economic harm to the issuer.
Until digital switchover, the channel was broadcasting with a licence for analogue. Di Stefano had requested €2 billion compensation for material and moral damages.
However, the defenders of the Italian state have emphasised that Di Stefano was already compensated in 2009, when the State Council awarded him a compensation of €1 million.
The state had also argued that the digital licence was not issued because of technical issues rather than political motives.
In the spring of 2010, after a ten years long legal battle, Europa 7 finally received a licence which enabled the broadcaster to reach 95% of Italy’s population. Europa 7 HD began test broadcasts in July 2010 using the DVB-T2 standard.