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IRIS 2007-2:6/7

European Commission

Hungary Referred to Court for Failing to Abolish Cable TV Restrictions

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Katerina Maniadaki

Institute for Information Law (IViR), University of Amsterdam

The European Commission has decided to refer Hungary to the European Court of Justice for failing to abolish the provision of the Media Act preventing cable TV operators from providing cable TV services to more than one third of the Hungarian population. The national legislation at issue is obstructing further consolidation of the cable TV sector in Hungary, which would stimulate investment and the provision of better broadband services including “triple play” services (voice telephony, broadband internet access and cable TV distribution) by the operators concerned who are in competition with Magyar Telecom throughout the country. According to the Commission, by falling short of abolishing such legislation, Hungary has failed to fulfil its obligations under the Directive on competition in the markets for electronic communications networks and services which prescribes that Member States should ensure that no restrictions are imposed or maintained on the provision of electronic communication services including broadcasting transmission services (Commission Directive 2002/77/EC).

“Commission refers Hungary to Court for failure to abolish restrictions on cable TV services”, press release of 14 December 2006, IP/06/1811 EN