Final Word from Friday, August 8, 2003

Ronald Lauder's companies CME and ČNTS announced on Wed. that they're going to arbitration court to seek Kč 35bn from TV Nova for loss in 1999 of their exclusive service contract. Is it a coincidence that two days before this, Premier Vladimír Špidla wrote in Právo that all efforts to monopolize the television market must be thwarted? Let's not forget that he also said in March that those responsible for the CR's Kč 10.5bn arbitration loss to CME should be made to cover the cost. And then yesterday, Finance Minister Bohuslav Sobotka told the BBC that it's right of CME to offer to return part of this money to the state if it wins its new case against Nova. Lauder and Špidla could both profit by joining forces to go after Nova. Ironically, if Nova uses the airwaves to wage a counterattack (which it did last night), it will merely give Špidla another reason to revoke its broadcast license.


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