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Euros probe TV news

EC eyes deals in wake of competition rules

The European Commission announced Monday that it will investigate the deal between several TV companies, including BSkyB, CBS Overseas, RTL and CLT, related to the collection and broadcasting of satellite news.

In a notice published in the European Union’s Official Journal, the Commission advised that the agreements could fall afoul of EU competition rules, and called on all interested parties to give their comments on the deal within 30 days.

In its notice, the Commission states that it received notification in December 1996 of an agreement between BSkyB and European News Exchange (ENEX), a Luxembourg-based company whose shareholders are RTL Plus, M6, RTL 2, TVi and Compagnie Luxembourgoise de Television (CLT).

The same deal was inked between ENEX, which aims to promote the exchange of news material on a nonprofit basis, and a number of commercial broadcasters, including CBS Overseas, Vlaamse Televisie Maatschappij, RTL Plus Deutschland Fernsehen, Tokyo Broadcasting System, Metropole Television (M6), RTL 2 Fernsehen, RTL 4, RTL TVi, CNTS Nova, RTL Luxembourg, RTL Poland, SIC Portugal, NTV Russia and Telenoticias Latin America.

The aim of the deal is to allow broadcasters to cut news gathering costs by collaborating on and sharing news stories occurring in their respective territories.

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