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EU warns Hungary over ‘Golden Shares’

EU regulators threatened to sue Hungary over laws controlling takeovers of formerly state- owned companies including energy producer MOL Rt, OTP Bank Rt and Magyar Telekom Nyrt. Hungary has failed to fulfill its promise before joining the EU in 2004 to repeal "golden shares" conveying power to veto major transactions at 31 privatized companies, the European Commission in Brussels said today. "These special rights are liable to dissuade companies from other member states from investing in the companies," the commission said in a statement. The EU executive agency has challenged several countries' defenses of their companies, including a lawsuit filed against Italy today, in a push to make European economies more competitive. (Bloomberg, NG 1)