Court ruling confirms invalidity of Klubrádió’s tender

Published: 7 May 2021

With its ruling published yesterday, the Budapest Regional Court confirmed that the Media Council of the National Media and Infocommunications Authority had lawfully declared invalid the tender submitted by Klubrádió for the 92.9 MHz broadcasting rights. The court rejected the action brought by the radio in its entirety and stressed that the Media Council had passed its decision lawfully in all respects.

Klubrádió had challenged the Media Council’s decision of 10 March to close the tender procedure for the Budapest 92.9 MHz radio frequency without a winner, after the tender of Klubrádió Zrt., the sole tenderer remaining in the procedure, was also deemed invalid. In its ruling yesterday, the Budapest Regional Court stressed that the Media Council had correctly established that Klubrádió’s tender contained serious invalidity errors and that the economic operation of the radio did not comply with the legal and tender requirements.

The court explained in the oral delivery of the ruling that Klubrádió’s programme was incomplete and contradictory and did not meet the tender requirements, in view of which the tender could not be assessed in effect. On this basis, the Media Council had no other option but to declare Klubrádió’s tender invalid. In its ruling, the court also stressed that the Media Council had also correctly argued that there was no legal possibility to remedy factual errors in the tender. This would have infringed the conditions of fair competition, as Klubrádió would have had to submit a new programme schedule.

The Regional Court also shared the Media Council’s view on the business and financial plan of the radio, stressing that it is essential for all companies to ensure their lawful operation, which was not fully met in the case of Klubrádió. The court also agreed with the Media Council’s position that this was not a mere formal issue, but a substantive condition that should have been fulfilled by the tenderer when submitting its tender. In the Court’s view, the Media Council was right to conclude from the business plan and balance sheet data submitted that a company that did not comply factually with the requirements of lawful operation and had not remedied this unlawful situation by means which can be proved could not be expected to meet the objectives of the tender.

The ruling is not final and may be appealed within 15 days from the time of delivery thereof.