The Monday Note takes a look at newspaper subsidies in Europe and finds, essentially, that the countries where newspapers get the biggest subsidies from the government are the ones where readers seem the least interested in reading newspapers:
The OECD data show too many subsidies lead to low operating profit, no workforce adjustments and decreasing readership.
Italy and France are the perfect examples. Compared to Sweden, Italy has 4 times less readers par 1000 people but 12 times more subsidies per reader.
For France, the numbers are slightly better: 3 times less readers than Sweden and 5 times more direct subsidies (according to a conservative estimates, 10% of the revenue of the French dailies comes from public funding). ...
In fact, in Europe, the soundest newspaper economy is the British one: no direct subsidies, only a VAT at zero (like in Finland and Norway).
Something for the FTC to think about before it leaps into action here.