Emmis Victorious In Hungarian Court
January 20, 2010 at 4:30 AM (PT)
EMMIS COMMUNICATIONS won a legal victory in a Hungarian court TUESDAY, as a judge issued a verbal ruling that the Hungarian radio regulator ORTT had illegally granted a competing applicant the license for a national FM radio station, taking EMMIS' SLAGER RADIO off the air.
ORTT awarded the license to a competing bidder, FM1, which EMMIS contended is connected to a political party; another national station, RADIO DANUBIUS, also had its license taken and given to a politically connected bidder, with the winning bidders in both cases offering the government a much higher share of revenues in exchange for the licenses. The court TUESDAY ruled that bidders for a national radio license that hold an interest in another Hungarian radio station have conflicts of interest under Hungary's Media Law and may not be awarded a national radio broadcast contract. An earlier ruling in RADIO DANUBIS' case followed similar reasoning.
"We feel vindicated that the courts struck down the regulatory decision, and ruled in favor for our claims," Emmis Chairman & CEO JEFF SMULYAN said. "The people of HUNGARY believed in SLAGER, and we trust we'll be back on the air soon."