Vajna says he bought TV2, Fonyó says he didnʼt

History

Hungarian film commissioner Andrew Vajnaʼs company claimed in a report yesterday that it had closed the purchase of Hungary’s second largest commercial television station TV2, but the lawyer of media mogul Károly Fonyó said today his client is still the owner of the station, according to reports.

Vajnaʼs firm, Magyar Broadcasting Co. Kft., said that it is in possession of the necessary permits and has submitted a request to the company court to register its ownership, according to reports. The company said that Dirk Gerkens, who used to be the CEO of leading commercial channel RTL Klub, has been appointed the CEO for TV2 group, according to state news agency MTI.

But Győző Óvári, the lawyer of Fonyó-owned Megapolis Media Zrt., insisted that Fonyó is still the rightful owner. He told Hungarian news portal origo.hu that the ownership of TV2 will be decided in the courtroom. Óvári claimed that mother company TV2 Media Holdings Kft. has not received the purchase price for the television channel, origo.hu reported.

Since Vajna announced his purchase in mid-October, Fonyó, who is partner of media mogul Lajos Simicska, has claimed to be the legal owner of the channel. He was still fighting last monthʼs decision by the Competition Authority to clear Vajna’s purchase.

Fonyóʼs partner Simicska boasts a media empire with several outlets, which had provided government friendly news coverage until last year. In February, Simicska had a public break with his long-time ally, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, and since then his media has been more critical of Orbánʼs government.

Vajna, who has a position in the government and has won exclusive tenders to run casinos in Hungary, is expected to run more government friendly news coverage. But Vajna insists that his station will stress interesting content over political loyalty.

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