The European Parliament’s Committee, which is pushing for new regulation of the Connected TV environment, has agreed a draft Initiative to put to the vote in a plenary session in July. If the Initiative is passed, the Commission will have to formally respond with its response as to if new legislation is required and what form it will take.
DG Connect is concurrently running a public consultation on connected TV which closes at the end of August, indicating that there will be significant regulations coming into force in the medium term for the sector.
The emphasis in the Commission Green Paper is still on a self and co-regulatory approach and interestingly some of the bolder amendments tabled in the parliamentary committee regarding the vigorous enforcement of competition law and data privacy were rejected. An amendment on harmonising intellectual property rights for cross border services was also rejected. This may be because Parliament is at this stage more interested in setting out to the Commission the priority areas for legislation rather than getting into the detail of exactly how it is done.
Areas which the Committee is keen to protect include the provision of public service television, protection of minors, promoting a cultural diversity of views and avoiding the incitement of racial hatred as well as generally encouraging competitiveness amongst service providers. Media plurality is also encouraged though specific amendments on the visibility of providers and relating to the definition of “editorial responsibility” and its application to platform and portal operators were rejected.
The vote in Parliament is scheduled for July 1, 2013. The Commission will doubtless be influenced by Parliament’s vote as well as the feedback to its own consultation in August.