The European Commission called on Bulgaria to ensure open and non-discriminatory access to the digital terrestrial broadcasting infrastructure market.
"The Commission considers that Bulgaria did not comply with the requirements of the Competition Directive when it assigned in 2009 the five spectrum lots available for digital terrestrial broadcasting via two contest procedures, limiting without justification the number of undertakings that could enter the market concerned," the EU's executive arm said in a statement on Thursday.
According to the commission, the selection criteria of the contest procedures were disproportionate, as applicants were not allowed to have links with content providers, including operators active only outside Bulgaria, or with broadcasting network operators.
The Commission's decision takes the form of a reasoned opinion, the second step in infringement proceedings. Bulgaria now has two months to inform the Commission of the measures taken to address the issue, or else it may be referred to the Court of Justice.