Regulatory environment

The pages in this section provide information on the authorities and international organisations relevant to the legal framework for broadcasting in Austria.

While KommAustria is responsible for administering the frequency spectrum for terrestrial broadcasting and for issuing building and operating permits for terrestrial broadcasting transmission facilities, the supervision of such facilities is assigned to the telecommunications authorities.

Federal Competition Authority:
In the preliminary review procedures for new ORF services established under the amendment to Austria’s broadcasting laws (Federal Law Gazette I No. 50/2010), the Austrian Federal Competition Authority was granted the rights of a party to such procedures in the interest of ensuring fair competition. In the course of these preliminary review procedures, KommAustria is also required to obtain comments and opinions from the Federal Competition Authority regarding the expected effects of new services on the competitive situation of other media companies operating in Austria.

At the European level, the Council of Europe is also concerned with broadcasting issues, especially with regard to human rights such as the freedom of expression established in Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

In passing the Audiovisual Media Services Directive (previously the "Television without Frontiers" Directive), the European Union has also contributed to harmonisation in the field of audiovisual media services. In addition, Community rules on electronic communications networks as well as EU competition and state aid laws are also relevant to the broadcasting market.

In its international cooperation activities, KommAustria has also joined the EPRA (European Platform of Regulatory Authorities).

The Research Institute for Electronic Mass Media Law (Forschungsinstitut für das Recht der elektronischen Massenmedien, or REM) is dedicated to academic research on electronic mass media law at the national and international level. The institute conducts basic and accompanying research on current legislative initiatives, and serves as a point of contact for inquiries concerning this subject area. The institution was established as an association and is headquartered at RTR’s offices in Vienna.