Sometimes it helps to go right to the top to solve a problem, even in the communications industry.
A few days ago, the Hungarian competition authority (GVH) launched an extraordinary investigation into the country’s broadcasting and rebroadcasting market. At the heart of its probe are indications that TV broadcasters are providing their services to larger rebroadcasters at lower rates than to smaller ones. This is putting serious pressure on the latter and was one of the main points raised by Ferenc Kéry, the head of the Hungarian Communications Agency (MKSZ), in a letter to the Hungarian President Viktor Orbán.
In a statement, the GVH has made clear that if its investigation reveals any market distortions it will resort to one of three courses of action. These are initiating competition supervision proceedings, making recommendations to market participants or sending a signal to the legislator.
At the same time, it has said it intends to ensure that competition between companies best serves the interest of consumers, both in terms of choice between service providers and competitive prices.
Meanwhile in Russia, President Putin has indicated he will take personal charge to ensure the country’s telecom and IT market remains in good shape. Following a forecast that the communications sector could shrink by up to 3% this year if it does not receive emergency state aid, he held a meeting with representatives of the government, telcos and IT market to discuss measures to support the communications and IT industries.
In the meeting, President Putin suggested the development of a legal and regulatory framework; removal of barriers to launch and support promising IT projects; and specific proposals by industry representatives to be addressed by the government.
Presidential intervention in these instances should produce positive results for the communications industries in both countries.