Companies Warn About EU Broadcasting Rules

BRUSSELS, Belgium (AP) -- Media and technology companies are warning that proposed European Union broadcasting rules would restrict the growth of emerging media formats such as video broadcasts on the Internet and mobile phones.

On Tuesday, an alliance of British companies _ including ITV PLC, BT Group PLC and Vodafone Group PLC, and the UK subsidiaries of Yahoo Inc., Intel Corp., and Cisco Systems Inc. _ said a European Commission proposal to impose rules for traditional broadcasters on new media providers could have "unintended consequences" and hurt investment.

The European Commission wants to create a level playing field by making TV and TV-like services _ such as broadcasts over high speed broadband and third-generation mobile phones _ follow the same set of rules. Those rules include limits on hate speech, advertising and the kind of content that can be broadcast to children.

Intellect, a London-based business lobby representing technology companies, said it would be difficult enforce the strict rules.

The EU proposal could ultimately mean less investment for an area that has enormous growth potential _ leading to fewer companies, less innovation and higher prices, the group said in a statement.


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Monty Solomon
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