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IRIS 2017-4:1/5

Albania

National digital network licences issued

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Ilda Londo

Albanian Media Institute

On 27 January 2017, the Audiovisual Media Authority (AMA) decided to grant the fifth and final national commercial license for national terrestrial digital networks. In its meeting, the regulator voted to grant the final license to the company ADTN, with four votes in favour and three votes against the decision. Previously, following legal battles in Court and after a successful attempt to abolish media ownership limitations for national operators, the regulator had issued four other licenses. The licenses went specifically to the two national commercial broadcasters TV Klan and Top Channel TV, to the multiplex Digitalb, and to the company Media Vizion.

Other operators, mainly Ora News TV and Tring TV, which had also applied for the license, but which were disqualified, opposed the decision on the fifth license and took the matter to court. Awarding the license to the company ADTN was a source of concern as regards the strengthening of monopoly positions in this market, since ADTN was recently established and is owned by Digitalb, the oldest digital platform in the country. Furthermore, some of its owners own Top Channel TV, the other TV station that received a national digital license.

According to the Authority’s statement, granting the fifth license concluded the full regulation of digital broadcasting in terms of national networks that already existed in the country, but were not regulated. The next step is expected to be the transition to digital broadcasting of existing local analogue stations in the area of Tirane-Durres, the most densely populated area in the country.

References
AMA dhe KQZ nënshkruajnë marrëveshje bashkëpunimi SQ
 http://merlin.obs.coe.int/redirect.php?id=18420
 
  The notification of the Audiovisual Media Authority on the completion of licensing for national digital networks      
NJOFTIM PËR MEDIA SQ
 http://merlin.obs.coe.int/redirect.php?id=18421
 
  The Audiovisual Media Authority decision to grant the fifth national license