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Culture Ministry fined for supporting TASR

THE COUNCIL of the Slovakia's Antitrust Bureau (PMÚ) has upheld the bureau's verdict imposing a fine of Sk300,000 on the Culture Ministry for distorting economic competition by providing subsidies from its budget to the state-run TASR news agency without defining clear and transparent criteria for subsidies. The verdict was delivered on February 23 and came into effect on March 2, the SITA news wire wrote. They said that it is not possible to challenge the verdict but it can still be brought to court.

The PMÚ Council ruled that the Culture Ministry had breached the law on the protection of economic competition, which states that even state administration authorities and self-administration bodies cannot provide an advantage to certain entrepreneurs or otherwise distort the competitive environment. The PMÚ claims that the Culture Ministry enabled TASR to receive and use subsidies from the state budget for activities that are also offered by their competitors and thus violated the law on the protection of economic competition.

The Culture Ministry views the PMÚ Council's decision as unfounded and will file a complaint with the Bratislava Regional Court.

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