The Serbian authorities have come up with a plan to destroy the free media with the help of Telekom Serbia mobile phone services provider.
N1 has had access to a plan under which the government-controlled Telekom Serbia will join forces with Czech tycoon Petr Kellner’s Telenor to reduce the SBB cable services provider’s market share to less than 30 percent. The Telekom believes that this would prevent the financing of media outlets such as N1 TV, Nova S and Sport Klub. The authorities are swearing by European values but are trying everything to prevent the existence of free media by destroying a private company this time.
The plan to destroy the free media in Serbia was presented to the Telekom management after months of work to draft it, N1 has learned. The state-owned telecommunications company is planning to give Telenor the complete infrastructure of its cable network and the complete content of its cable TV.
They are making no secret of the fact that the state-owned company is planning to increase its income, increase its client numbers with the goal of finally destroying SBB which is the main reason for the contract with Telekom, N1 learned.
That practically means that, based on European norms, Telekom Serbia is illegally associating with a private company to destroy another private company. Telekom is not hiding the fact that it wants to destroy SBB and reduce its market share to less than 30 percent and prevent it from investing in program content.
The destruction of SBB would allow Telekom to become the only provider capable of setting up new channels and earning income from both Telenor and its clients and plan to hae complete control over Telenor clients.
Telekom keeps saying that SBB has already filed a complaint with the European Commission saying that the government is pushing its company forward by creating a telecommunications and media monopoly.
The agreement between Telekom and Telenor has to be approved by the Commission to protect competition. According to what N1 has learned, the documents have been handed to the Commission but have not been published on its web site as per the procedure. If the Commission just declares itself not competent to rule on the case, the cooperation between Petr Kellner’s private company and the state-owned Telekom could go ahead unobstructed.
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