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IRIS 2018-8:1/10

Bulgaria

Sector analysis on the competitive environment of the media market in Bulgaria

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Rayna Nikolova

New Bulgarian University

At the beginning of July 2018, the Commission for Protection of Competition announced its decision No. 717, dated 28 June 2018, in which it had carried out a sector analysis of the media market in the country. The research was done at the request of the Minister of Economics, the Minister of Finance and the Minister of Culture. During the research, the Commission for Protection of Competition - the national Competition Authority - got in touch with institutions, trade unions, associations and co-operations as well as with many undertakings, participants in the respective markets in the sector, so as to seek and inspect their assessment and opinion on the competitive environment of the media market in Bulgaria. With reference to the implementation of the sector analysis, the Commission sent questionnaires to the competition authorities in the EU member states through the European Competition Network in order to receive their assessments of the Bulgarian market.

The Commission found that on the radio and TV services market, on the market for the distribution of radio and TV content, on the market for the circulation of printed media and on the advertising market, there are no invincible barriers for new participants to enter the market or develop activity therein. Regarding online media, the Commission established that the barriers are very low for new entrants into the market. Online news services have been rendered in a digital environment, which hinders the presence and establishment of a market participant with a dominating position.

Concerning the TV services market, it was regarded as a normal phenomenon by the Commission that TV stands out in comparison to other media and advertising opportunities in regard to the volume of attracted advertisements. This is due to the fact that one can reach bigger audiences for a relatively short period of time. At the same time, a trend of decreasing trust in TV as the major advertising place has been detected compared to online advertising; despite the fact that the volume of online advertising is still considerably low, it has achieved significant growth recently.

The Commission considers it worthwhile recommending to the competent authorities and to the operating industrial organisations in the sector that they start a more intensive discussion aimed at introducing legislative measures or self-regulatory actions through which the problems that may arise in the sector could be overcome and through which, at the same time, normal competitiveness could be stimulated.

References
Решение № 717 от 28.06.2018 г. BG
 http://merlin.obs.coe.int/redirect.php?id=19194
 
  Decision No 717 dated 28 June 2018