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Swedish Supreme Court cancels TV fee for computers

A model standing next to a  large Ultra HD Curved OLED TV/AFP

A model standing next to a large Ultra HD Curved OLED TV/AFP

STOCKHOLM, Jun 13 – Sweden’s Supreme administrative court ruled on Friday that computers, tablets and phones will no longer be subject to the radio and television fee.

Licensing administrator Radiotjaenst in February 2013 extended the 2,076-kronor (230-euro, $312) fee to households without a television but with an internet connection, arguing public broadcaster programmes were available online.

The decision to overturn the payment came after a ratepayer with no television appealed the fee all the way to the Supreme administrative court.

The law states the charge should apply to all owners of “a device meant to receive the transmission or retransmission of TV programmes, even if the equipment can be used for other means”.

But the Supreme administrative court said in a statement that the interpretation had been too strict as “a computer with Internet connection is not meant to receive TV transmissions”.

Radiotjaenst said on its website that it would immediately stop the fee for devices with Internet connection, but would not reimburse the money collected until Friday, since previous courts had validated the fee.

In 2013, Radiotjaenst collected 7.1 billion kronor in licensing fees, which was used to finance Sweden’s public radio and TV.

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