Competition authority rejects RTL acquisition

February 20, 2017

Hungary’s economic competition authority (GVH) has rejected television network RTL’s partial acquisition of Hungarian publisher Centrál Digitális Média, reports 444.hu. RTL’s intention to purchase a 30 percent stake in the publisher of daily news site 24.hu was announced last September during the annual Internet Hungary conference.

In January, Hungary’s media authority rejected the acquisition on the grounds that it would enable RTL to greatly influence public opinion, thereby endangering citizens’ right to obtain diverse information. RTL and Centrál Digitális Média were hopeful the acquisition would be approved by the GVH despite the media authority’s earlier decision, but GVH stated that it was bound to rule the same, based on existing media laws.

Since January, news site 444.hu has attempted on numerous occasions to interview president of the media authority Mónika Karas about the authority’s decision to block the acquisition, but Karas has refused. RTL, Hungary’s largest independent television network, has frequently run afoul of the Fidesz government.