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Wednesday 22.11.2017 | Name days: Aldis, Alfons, Aldris
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NEPLP has yet to receive information about owner change for MTG’s broadcaster

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RULatvia’s National Electronic Mass Media Council has not yet received an application detailing the change of the owner of Swedish Modern Times Group’s broadcasting business in Baltics, as reported by NEPLP council chairman Dace Kezbere.

She noted that it will be possible to comment on this matter once MTG has provided the council with development strategy for the Baltic broadcasting business.

In addition, Kezbere said before assessing this deal, NEPLP plans to wait for approval for this deal from the Cabinet of Ministers.

Yesterday, the Saeima conceptually supported amendments to the law that would make it mandatory for owners of important commercial companies with major presence in the public space and which play major role for national security to sell their shares. Because amendments to the National Security Law were viewed under conditions of emergency, the state president will not be able to submit them back to the Saeima for repeated reading. Amendments may come into force before the Competition Council makes its decision on MTG’s sale.

One of the authors of the legislative draft is Economy Ministry. The ministry’s parliamentary secretary Vilnis Kirsis has said that new amendments will apply to this deal. He explains – using these amendments, the government will have the right to assess deals that have already taken place. This means even if MTG Baltics sale is performed before amendments are added, the government will still be allowed to review it.

Saeima’s Defence, Internal Affairs and Corruption Prevention Committee is responsible for this legislative draft. The committee plans to review proposals next week.

Amendments will ensure that it will be necessary to receive permission from the government in order to gain influence in a company important for national security. It is planned to expand the National Security Law with a separate section regarding restrictions for companies important for national security. It will be stated in that section that companies that comply with at least one of the conditions listed in the law to be considered a company important for Latvia’s national security. This will make sure only a limited range of companies will be able to apply for special status.

There have not been any concerns voiced in regards to the potential buyer for MTG Baltics so far.

Competition Council has not received a merging report for the sale of Modern Times Group’s owned broadcasting business in Baltic States to Providence Equity Partners yet, said CC representative Paula Vilsone.

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