L'Agefi does not receive press funding

The Federal Court has rejected an application from the business newspaper L'Agefi in western Switzerland for press subsidies. It confirmed Bakom's view that the title belongs to the specialist press. This does not entitle it to a reduced delivery rate.

The editor of L'AgefiNouvelle agence économique et financière, submitted a corresponding application at the beginning of 2022. This request was rejected by the Federal Office of Communications Bakom and later by the Federal Administrative Court.

The appeal against this decision was again not upheld by the Federal Supreme Court, as L'Agefi reported in its Tuesday edition. In the opinion of the 2nd Public Law Division, the newspaper's right to be heard was not violated.

Accordingly, the lower court was entitled to reject the requested expert opinion, which was to determine whether the title had a specialist character or not. For the judges, this point is a legal question that cannot be delegated to an expert.

Focused on finances

The complainant also argued that the Federal Administrative Court had acted arbitrarily by failing to take into account the very different subjects covered by the title, which gave rise to its multidisciplinary character.

For the Federal Supreme Court, however, this diversity does not exclude that L'Agefi was strongly focused on finance and economics and was aimed at readers who were primarily interested in these topics. Under these circumstances, the Federal Court confirmed that L'Agefi, as a trade press title, was not entitled to indirect press subsidies.

In a reaction on the pages of L'Agefi director and editor-in-chief Frédéric Lelièvre takes note of this decision and regrets it. "It is not a matter of regretting the receipt of a state aid, but of fighting against a blatant distortion of competition," he is quoted as saying. (SDA)

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