Spanish aid for film studio ruled illegal
Tuesday 08 May 2012
The European Commission ruled, on 8 May, that public financing of €265 million granted by the Valencia Regional Government in Spain to the Ciudad de la Luz film studio was not provided on market terms and has to be paid back by the beneficiary. The Commission had serious doubts that, in a context of strong European competition, the decision to invest in a greenfield project outside the big centres of audiovisual activity, such as Madrid and Barcelona, could result from commercial considerations. After an in-depth probe, launched in 2008, it concluded that no private investor would have agreed to invest under the same terms and that the public financing considerably distorted competition between the major European film studios. A number of film studios already exist in the EU and there is a risk of oversupply that would have been aggravated by the publicly funded construction of the Ciudad de la Luz studio.