The European Commission today (May 17) gave the green light to a tax break for French music producers.

The European Commission today (May 17) gave the green light to a tax break for French music producers.

The Commission -- the European Union's executive authority -- took the decision after an investigation into whether the aid might distort the local markets. EU Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes said the decision illustrated how state aid rules could allow member states to support media and culture, while ensuring that competition concerns are taken into account.

The French scheme, which would provide aid of up to €10 million ($12.8 million) a year, covers part of the costs of production and promotion of albums of new talents and instrumental music.

It is specifically targeted at music which has lesser commercial appeal, but which nonetheless could be considered "cultural products." The initiative also ensures that the aid is limited to the minimum, and is mainly directed at small- and medium-sized enterprises.

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