BRUSSELS The European Commission said on Tuesday it had referred Spain to the EU Court of Justice over its failure to recover some 300 million euros (261.04 million pounds)in illegal subsidies from digital terrestrial television (DTT) operators.
The Commission, which enforces competition rules in the European Union, said it had concluded in two decisions in 2013 and 2014 that subsidies given to DTT operators in remote areas were not in line with EU state aid rules and needed to be recovered.
"The Spanish authorities have only recovered a small fraction of the aid. Spain also continues to pay for the operation and maintenance of parts of the DTT network, in breach of the decisions," the Commission said, adding Spain will be referred to the European Court of Justice.
The aid helped finance the shift from analogue to digital television. The Commission ruled it was discriminatory as it only benefited terrestrial technology, rather than provision by satellite, cable or over the Internet. It also found it discriminated between different digital terrestrial operators.
(Reporting by Robert-Jan Bartunek, editing by Philip Blenkinsop)