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EU watchdog says French contributions to AFP news agency may distort media competition
BRUSSELS (AP) ' The European Union's competition regulators are examining whether France is providing unfair state aid to French news agency Agence France-Presse.
In a letter to France's mission to the EU, the European Commission says that subscriptions from the French government make up 40 percent of AFP's revenue.
The commission says, according to its provisional evaluation, "the annual subscriptions of the government could constitute state aid."
It adds that the commission "at this point views that possible aid to AFP would have the potential to distort competition and affect exchanges between member states."
The letter, asking for more information from the French government, follows a complaint by the German news agency dapd.
AFP, headquartered in Paris, is a global competitor of The Associated Press. It competes in parts of Europe with dapd, which was created in 2009 when the ddp news agency purchased the former German service of the AP.