LAWYER BATKOV CONFRONTS BTC OVER DIGITAL TV
Lawyer Todor Batkov appeared on behalf of Ring JSCo at the first Sofia digital television's case. The company's claim was heard at first sitting by three-member session of the Supreme Administrative Court (SAC). On June 28 the Bulgarian Telecommunications Company (BTC) won the tender for a licence of a Sofia digital television, outclassing its competitors Ring and Cable - Bulgaria. BTC came out with an offering of USD70,000 - topping by USD25,000 the initial bidding price and by USD5,000 the offering of the second to come Ring JSCo. Bidding proceeding was organized by a commission of the former Council of Ministers and in compliance with Article 45 of the Telecommunications Act.Lawyer Batkov announced that his appearance did not concern in any way his former client in Bulgaria Michael Chorny, as Mr. Chorny forsaw no new investments in media projects to follow after his acquisition of the Standard Daily and 7 Days Sport.The private firm attacked the tender's results claiming that the state-owned BTC had been illegally permitted to participate in the bidding. BTC has no right to set up a television of its own which is a precondition for the licence agreement to be signed by the future digital operator, says Batkov. He also commenetd to the BANKER weekly: A licence obliges its owner to develop at least one of the six digital canals to be broadcasted. BTC has no right to act as radio-television operator. Batkov also pleaded that at SAC's next session BTC's lawyers should present the company's statute so as to become clear whether it should assimilate licence-rights won in June or not. In case the first candidate-winner is excluded, then the second best bidding should be ranked first. Court has postponed the hearing of the case for February, 2002.