Ivan, Jurić, Kaćunić, emil, tedeschi

After a series of articles in Nacional, Media daily and other media, and after a sharp reaction from the HND and the Croatian Journalists’ Union, regarding suspicions of concealing the ownership structure of seven radio stations and their cartel association, which are formally under the control of Ivan Jurić Kaćunić, The Agency for the Protection of Market Competition (AZTN) has decided to conduct its own research, Media daily has found out exclusively.

At the same time, from the circles of seven dissatisfied bidders with the scandalous and harmful decision of the Electronic Media Council (VEM), we found out that they are preparing to initiate an administrative dispute against the decision to award the concession to Top Radio, with ALL bidders likely to go to court. 

If this really happens, it will be the first time in the history of the Croatian media regulator that all bidders, whose bids were rejected, act in unison, seeking justice in court, which clearly shows how dissatisfied it is. This did not happen even to the hated Telecommunications Council headed by prof. Marko Sapunar from the second half of the 1990s, and not even the first Radio and Television Council (the predecessor of today’s VEM) in making the historically difficult decision for the TV concession to RTL in 2003.

But that is not the only thing that the dissatisfied are preparing. According to our source from the circle of bidders, they will turn to other institutions for extraordinary legal remedies, about which they did not want to talk for now.

Distinguished journalist Đurđica Klancir, an external member of the Parliamentary Committee for Information, Informatization, and Media and winner of the HND Award for Journalist 2019, submitted a proposal to initiate a debate on the work of the VEM at the first session of the Committee, and everything will be discussed at the plenary session of the Croatian Parliament, which otherwise appoints and dismisses members of the VEM.

In the meantime, on Tuesday, Nacional brought new evidence in concealing the ownership of several radio stations by publishing an e-mail correspondence between Miroslav Kutla and Ivan Jurić Kačunić.

Media daily tomorrow brings out who are the political sponsors of this decision of the Electronic Media Council, which should be independent in its work. As we have already written according to the research of the Center for Pluralism and Freedom of the Media at the European University Institute, in terms of transparency of ownership, Croatia is classified as a high-risk country among EU members. Also, it states that “in Croatia, the regulation of the media sector is stagnating, which has led to a deterioration of media pluralism.”