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Media Council blocks Ringier-Axel Springer merger in Hungary

The Media Council of Hungary's National Media and Telecommunications Authority (NMHH) is opposing the merger of the local units of publishing giants Ringier and Axel Springer, a spokesman said after a meeting of the council on Thursday.

The merger would "unequivocally and significantly" endanger the right to diverse sources of information, said Karola Kiricsi.

The recommendation of the Media Council binds the Hungarian Competition Office (GVH) under Hungary's Media Act.

Germany's Axel Springer and Swiss publisher Ringier announced in March they would consolidate their portfolios in five countries in Central Eastern Europe. The merger is worth about HUF 30 billion, Econews reported earlier.