Bloomberg News

U.K. Tax Relief for Video Games Faces EU Competition Probe

April 16, 2013

U.K. tax incentives to video games developers face a probe from European Union competition investigators, who questioned whether the aid is needed to spur the industry.

“The market for developing video games is dynamic and commercially promising,” Joaquin Almunia, the EU’s antitrust commissioner, said in an e-mailed statement today. “It is not clear whether the taxpayer should be subsidizing this activity. Such subsidies could even distort competition.”

The U.K. measures may “fuel a subsidy race between member states, the European Commission said in the statement.

The EU regulator said it wasn’t clear that a proposed cultural test to qualify for support ‘‘ensures that the aid supports only games with cultural content without leading to undue distortions of competition.’’

To contact the reporter on this story: Peter Chapman in Brussels at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Aarons at

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