The Austrian Federal Administrative Court dismisses the claim by a telecoms operator that reforming the rights to use of radio frequencies, but excluding pre-existing rights from this reform, constitutes illegal State aid because there is no demonstrable negative effect on the State flowing from the reform

Background & Facts of the case In order to enable a more efficient use of the Austrian mobile communications network, the Telekom-Control Commission [1] (“the authority”) ordered, by decision of 28 July 2014, a so-called “refarming” of rights of use for radio frequencies in the 900 and 1800 MHz ranges. These frequencies, which had previously been limited to GSM technology, could now be used in a technologically neutral way. However, the existing allocation of rights of use for radio frequencies among mobile operators should remain unchanged. The mobile operator A (the “applicant”) lodged an appeal against the decision before the Bundesverwaltungsgericht (Federal Administrative Court, hereafter “BVwG”), arguing inter alia that one of its competitors, which

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  • University of Vienna (Vienna)

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Julia Zöchling, The Austrian Federal Administrative Court dismisses the claim by a telecoms operator that reforming the rights to use of radio frequencies, but excluding pre-existing rights from this reform, constitutes illegal State aid because there is no demonstrable negative effect on the State flowing from the reform, 11 September 2019, e-Competitions September 2019, Art. N° 106614

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