The dispute between United Media and Telekom Srbija has taken on a political dimension, with the former’s parent company United Group accusing the country’s PM Ana Brnabic of siding with the incumbent telco.
In a statement by United Group published by its subsidiary N1 TV, it says that the PM “confirmed the law did not apply to everyone by attacking the group on the pro-government Pink TV”.
“When the contract expires, Telekom cannot continue to use our channels for free, since it would be theft and abuse of our signal. We haven’t self-cancelled our channels, as the Prime Minister tried, together with tabloids, to pin on us. Still, we asked Telekom for a legal contract, refusing to discuss it with legally non-existent Supernova provider,” the statement added.
United Group also said it was shocking that Prime Minister said it could demand “a billion Euros for its channels and that Telecom must say OK only to air N1.”
“It’s a clear change of subject because we published a public offer for N1 TV programme at €0.4 which Telekom has been ignoring, regarding of general interest”.
United Group added that it saw the Prime Minister’s public address as another attempt to, helped by the state, eliminate N1 as a competition and strengthen Telekom monopoly across Serbia.
“This is the United Group which asks for a fair, transparent and equal market game, the implementation of clear and equal rules for all players in the market and their adjustment to the best practice in the European Union. Only fair competition is in the best interest of the users”.
United Group added that, as one of the largest investors in Serbia, it has effectively been exposed to a “pogrom”.
In concluded its statement by saying: “The key condition for the market competition is that the respective institutions equally treat all the participants, without privileges or discriminations. Such an attitude doesn’t require special legal norms, but only the implementation of the laws in the same way to everyone”.