RTL lodges Hungary complaint in Brussels

October 17, 2014 10.44 Europe/London By Chris Dziadul
RTL Group has filed an official complaint with the European Commission about the controversial advertising tax the Hungarian government introduced this summer.

Speaking to AFP and quoted by EU Business, Andreas Meier, RTL Group’s communications manager, said “the levy damages media pluralism and is a punitive and discriminatory levy which disproportionally affects RTL Group, an EU-based entity, compared to locally owned channels.”

In response to the move, Eva Kurucz, a Hungarian government spokesperson, said in a statement to the news agency MTI that Hungary was ready to defend itself in Brussels in the same way it has stood up for other controversial taxes.

“This is not the first time that certain economic players have exerted pressure on the government.

“Everyone should pay their fair share of the public burden. Several hundred companies will pay the tax, not just RTL”.

Meanwhile, quoted by WSJ, Emer Traynor, the European Commission spokesperson for Taxation, Customs, Statistics, Audit and Anti-Fraud, said that Commission said it was concerned about the Hungarian tax because it “raises questions across several policy areas.”

She added that, “it is only once this analysis (of information requested from Hungary) is completed that the Commission will decide whether to take any further steps, [such as opening] an infringement procedure against Hungary”.