Media Law

Sixt files lawsuit against German TV licence fee

Several months ago, the vehicle rental company Sixt vowed to bring a court action against the new TV licence fee in Germany. The company has now filed the relevant court documents.

Sixt files lawsuit against German TV licence fee © Africa Studio - Fotolia.com

Sixt files lawsuit against German TV licence fee © Africa Studio – Fotolia.com

German TV licence fee

The new television licence fee was introduced in Germany in January 2013. For businesses, it is calculated for businesses based on the number of employees per premises, and an extra fee is payable for each commercial vehicle.

After receiving a bill for its car rental arm alone of over 700,000 euros for the first quarter of 2013, Sixt described the new model in a blog entry as “fee madness” and the company vowed to sue Bayern’s radio service.

According to media reports, the vehicle rental company has now filed the particulars of claim with Munich’s administrative court.

€5.99 per vehicle

Sixt divulged that it operates over 40,000 vehicles in Germany. With a charge of €5.99 per vehicle, the company is expecting a six figure increase on its previous TV licence fee payments.

The company also complains that the TV licence fee is payable even if, as in its own case, there are no TVs or radios present on commercial premises.

3 million euro fee

According to data published by Sixt, the company predicts for the high season, which includes the second and third quarters of the year, the amount payable could be even higher than for the first quarter. Annual estimates put the fee at more than 3m euros.

Sixt has made clear that it believes the fee is far too high.

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Rafaela Wilde is a partner at the law firm WILDE BEUGER SOLMECKE.

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