ONO demands a €8.3m refund

Spain’s largest cable company ONO has asked the Telecommunications Market Commission (CMT) to give it back an amount of €8.3 million paid as a tax to the state-owned broadcaster RTVE over the last three years.

The operator argues that the current legislation that obliges telco companies to dedicate 0.9 per cent of their revenues to financing the broadcaster is unconstitutional and against the European law and is seriously damaging its business. Currently, the EU Court is scrutinising the Spanish legislation following the telco operators have taken the case to Luxembourg and a decision over it is expected later on this year.

The CMT is rejecting all demands from the operators on the grounds that the law is into force and all involved parties must comply with it. In 2010, when RTVE ceased broadcasting advertising, ONO paid €2.6 million to finance the state-owned company. In 2011, the amount reached €3 million and €2.7 million in 2012.

Recently, Vodafone pulled out of the mobile TV market in order not to pay the 0.9 per cent tax to RTVE.

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