Croatia’s Electronic Media Council (AZTN) has unanimously declined to approve the sale of the national commercial broadcaster Nova TV by CME to Slovenia Broadband, a subsidiary of United Media.
According to SeeNews and Tportal, the regulator said that it would run counter to the country’s Electronic Communications Act and threaten pluralism in the media. Specifically, its objection was based on the fact that United Media already owns Total TV, a leading provider of telco services in Croatia.
As previously reported by Broadband TV News, CME agreed in July to sell its assets in Croatia and Slovenia to Slovenia Broadband for €230 million in cash.
United Media, which is majority owned by the investment group KKR and also has the backing of the EBRD, has said that it will study the regulator’s decision to see whether it was made in accordance with European legislation and if local laws were applied in a non-discriminatory manner.
Aside from Croatia and Slovenia, Time Warner-backed CME also has broadcast interests in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Bulgaria and Romania.
The sale to United Media was expected to close by the end of this year.