KESMA, an Orbán-ally conglomerate comprising nearly 500 media groups, was in financial terms too small for intervention as competition law was designed for bigger mergers, European Commission Vice-President Věra Jourová told Euronews on Monday (3 May).
In 2016, a complaint was filed on the alleged excessive funding of public broadcast media in Hungary, with concerns raised by former MEP Benedek Jávor, the news platform Klubrádió, and the Budapest media policy think tank Mérték.
In 2019, a separate complaint was issued by the contingent, on the subject of state aid being offered to media organisations in the country in the form of public advertising.
“This frustration that we can not do anything through competition rules leads us [to] think about better rules,” Jourova added.
Reacting to the Commissioner’s comments, Hungarian Justice Minister Judit Varga said Jourova “says she would have the appetite to punish Hungary but rules don’t let them do it.”
“So ‘sad’ rules prevent politically driven acts by Eurocrats,” she wrote on Twitter.
(Vlagyiszlav Makszimov | EURACTIV.com)