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Slovak Supreme Court: no fine over TASR subsidy

The Supreme Court on Wednesday, June 3, upheld a ruling by the Bratislava Regional Court that the Culture Ministry will not have to pay a fine of €9,958 imposed by the Antitrust Office (PMÚ) for subsidising the News Agency of the Slovak Republic (TASR) in 2006, Peter Preti from the Supreme Court told TASR on the same day.

The Supreme Court on Wednesday, June 3, upheld a ruling by the Bratislava Regional Court that the Culture Ministry will not have to pay a fine of €9,958 imposed by the Antitrust Office (PMÚ) for subsidising the News Agency of the Slovak Republic (TASR) in 2006, Peter Preti from the Supreme Court told TASR on the same day.

According to the Bratislava Regional Court ruling, dated May 2008, the ministry didn't violate the rules of competition by providing TASR with a subsidy in 2006. “The reason for the decision is that the plaintiff (the ministry) proceeded in accordance with the valid legislation at the given time,” ministry spokesman Pavol Adamčiak told the TASR newswire after the Regional Court's verdict.

According to the PMÚ, the ministry distorted the principle of competition by providing TASR with financial means from the state budget, thereby allowing the agency to use public resources to carry out activities that are also carried out by competing entities that don’t receive subsidies. The PMÚ fined the ministry €6,639 in 2005, €9,958 in 2006, and €29,875 in July 2007 for providing subsidies to TASR. TASR

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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