Supervision of media services

In accordance with Article 168 of Act CLXXXV of 2010 on media services and mass media (Media Act), the Media Council shall — within its scope of competence — perform market surveillance activities with a view to protecting the smooth, fruitful and diverse operation of the media market and protecting the interests of those engaged in broadcasting and media service provision, publishers of media products, viewers, listeners, readers, subscribers and users, as well as preserving the diversity of the national culture and opinions, promoting fair and effective market competition, investigate the market trends and conduct comprehensive assessments, analyses and official supervision for media policy considerations and other purposes herein defined.

In its market surveillance role, the Media Council regulates, evaluates and analyzes all media market segments comprehensively, covering the activities of all the service providers via regular monitoring and analysis, examination and assessment. The primary objective of the market surveillance procedure is to examine the market processes and therein verify whether the service providers have acted on the market under review in a legally compliant manner, whether there are any interruptions to effective market competition and the maintenance and development of media pluralism. The Media Council also investigates whether the effectiveness of the legal regulations need to be improved through state intervention (e.g. by amending the law) or whether any conceptual/strategic changes are necessary.

Since the market surveillance procedures examine entire submarkets comprehensively, they are multi-client procedures; as a result, the Authority may not only establish individual breaches of the law but also evaluate and compare breaches with one another and draw general jurisprudential and media market conclusions from these.

It is important from a guarantee perspective that the Media Council conducts its market surveillance procedures based on a preliminary plan: taking into consideration its market surveillance findings from the previous year, the Media Council prepares an annual market surveillance plan by 1 December in the year preceding the year under review, and publishes it on its website within fifteen days.

The Media Council ensures that its market surveillance plans are mutually aligned. At the end of the first six months the Media Council may review its plans based on its findings made during that period and it may modify its plans accordingly. The Media Council shall post its modified market surveillance plan on its website within fifteen days of its modification. The Media Council shall also have the right to conduct market surveillance operations ex officio beyond the scope of the market surveillance plan.

The media market environment and the predominantly compliant behaviour of media service providers does not currently warrant a definition of market surveillance roles in a narrower sense, and therefore this “market surveillance and general official surveillance plan” applies to the areas and subjects the Media Council wishes to focus its surveillance on within its general official surveillance role pursuant to Article 167 of the Media Act. This document does not, however, extend to the audits in the Media Council’s competence and launched by it ex officio based on reports (and requests); such audits are, by definition, impossible to plan in advance. If the need for market surveillance intervention arises for any reason whatsoever during its regular monitoring activities, the Media Council shall update its surveillance plan.