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Convergence and the Regulatory Consequences

Convergence and the Regulatory Consequences

This report has been commissioned by the German states and gives an overview of the problems of the current legal system, which is confronted with the reality of media convergence. Not only does this affect legal regulations of the federal states, but also legal regulations of the federal government. Solutions for coordination and cooperation are needed in order to resolve conflicts. The problems discussed in the report are based on the current legal situation. In order to provide possible solutions for the 2016 Bund-Länder-Commission, relevant decisions by courts and authorities were analysed, empirical studies were factored in and an industry survey regarding convergence was evaluated.

The complete report is published in the series “Working Papers of the Hans-Bredow-Institut” [Arbeitspapiere des Hans-Bredow-Instituts], no. 30. (pdf for download). Furthermore, the report is the topic of episode 5 of the BredowCast.

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Project Description

This report has been commissioned by the German states, and it deals with convergence and its regulatory consequences. Increasing technical convergence presents media regulation with new challenges just as much as convergence in previously separate media branches. In principle, media law proceeds from regulation based on concepts by way of technical marks of difference. These technical criteria become blurred with increasing convergence and present less and less points of connection for modern media regulation.

One example of this regulatory concept being called into question is that of hybrid TV, where Internet and television content can be viewed on the same device. However, other developments are also challenging the conceptual categories of telemedia and broadcasting law.

Beyond that, questions arise about the harmonizing of the law on competition with that on media where competitive interests encounter each other, and about the securing of diversity. Our report thus intends to also serve as a preparation for the talks between federal government and the states on harmonising the respective legal regulations already in force. New questions of media law also arise when dealing with non-journalistic influences on public opinion, e.g.as regards intermediaries and media agencies.

Our report will analyse these regulatory areas and investigate them as to their potential for optimisation. Our analysis of the problem is based on assessing the decisions of courts and authorities, research analyses and information from the branches concerned.

Project Information


Duration: 2014-2014

Research programme:
RP1 - Transformation of Public Communication

Third party

Rundfunkkommission der Länder

Contact person

Dipl.-Jur. Univ. Kevin Dankert
Junior Researcher Broadcasting & Regulation

Dipl.-Jur. Univ. Kevin Dankert

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