The Curia confirmed the Media Council decision in the Klubrádió case

Published: 29 September 2021

The ruling of the Curia stated that Klubrádió lost the broadcasting right to Budapest 92.9 MHz solely because of its incorrect tender, and the Media Council did not have any discretionary powers in the matter.

In its judgement of 28 September, the Curia (the supreme court) rejected Klubrádió’s appeal in its entirety and in the reasoning it stressed that the Media Council had passed its decision lawfully in all respects in accordance with the provisions of te Media Act.

The supreme court emphasised that both the Media Council and the Budapest Regional Court 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 Curia stressed that in the case of Klubrádió's tender, the Media Council and the Budapest Regional Court found three invalidity errors, one of which would have been enough to invalidate the tender as a whole.

The Curia also found that the Media Council did not have discretionary powers in the case of the errors found, which – in accordance with the current legal regulations – rendered Klubrádió’s tender invalid. On this basis, the Media Council had no other option but to declare Klubrádió’s tender invalid. In this regard, the Curia also rejected Klubrádió's argument that the invalidation of its tender violated the principles of diversity, the requirements of freedom of the press and the principle of fair procedure. The court stressed that the references made by Klubrádió cannot be used as an excuse for not complying with the law, nor can they lead the Media Council or the court to overlook the invalidity of any submitted tenders. Klubrádió's argument cannot provide a legal basis for overstepping the law, selectively applying the law, overriding and ignoring the rules, and treating Klubrádió as an exception. The Curia also recalled that the invalidity of Klubrádió's tender was not only due to an administrative error considered insignificant by the appellant, but to a total of three serious grounds for invalidity.

In its judgement, the Curia emphasised that it was not the actions of the Media Council and the Budapest Regional Court that led to the invalidity of Klubrádió's tender, but the invalidity was caused solely by Klubrádió's own conduct, which the invocation of the principle of the freedom of the press does not change. It was not the Media Council or the Budapest Regional Court that "deprived" listeners of Klubrádió’s radio media service at Budapest 92.9 MHz, but Klubrádió itself, which submitted an incorrect, incomplete and contradictory tender.