Newspapers are currently under severe strain as the demand for printed media is on the decline and the competitive pressure from online services steadily increases.
Against this background, Copenhagen Economics was asked to conduct a study in Sweden regarding the competitive impact of four online services recently launched by the Swedish public service broadcaster (SVT).
The assessment of the services follows the principles laid out by the European Commission in the so-called public value test.
The purpose of this test is to guarantee compliance with the state aid rules and to preserve diversity on media markets. Services that do not represent sufficient public value and that distorts competition in market are not compatible with the common market and should therefore not be launched.
Our study concludes that two out of four services would not pass the test, including the SVT News app.
Furthermore, we conclude that public value tests should have been conducted for all four online services, even if some tests would result in clearance. That would have increase the confidence in the system, added to case-law and improved the net public value of future services launched by SVT.
The study was commissioned by the Swedish Media Publishers’ Association.Download