We have explained the problems in the Turkish satellite platform market, stemming from the special communications taxes in our Mondaq article titled "Special Communication Taxes in Turkish Pay TV Markets: An Illustration of Legal Uncertainty". These problems had been going on for a very long time and there were significant legal disputes between the state and the satellite platform operators.
The Ministry of Finance published a new Communique concerning Special Communications Taxes (Serial Number: 13) and this long lasting problem has finally come to an end. It should be noted that the new Communique is a victory for the satellite platform operators since it is now officially conceded that the content services may not be regarded as electronic communications services and be subjected to SCT. From now on, all platform operators (including cable TV and IPTV) would be required to pay SCT only for the revenues generated from transmission services.
It is also rumoured that the state and the satellite platform operators made agreements to settle their existing debts. Although an official statement is yet to be made, it is certain that this would enable the platform operators to have more resources to invest in content. Moreover, the publication of this new Communique is also an important step that could facilitate the completion of Digiturk's (the leading satellite platform operator in Turkey, currently controlled by the Saving Deposits Insurance Fund) privatization.
Now that legal certainty is maintained and it is clarified that the revenues generated from content based services are exempt from SCT, it may be claimed that the Turkish market is a better venue for new investments.
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