Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Forming Opinions (II) (German Media Company WAZ in conflict in Serbia)

Newsletter 2010/06/24 - Forming Opinions (II)

ESSEN/SKOPJE/BELGRADE (Own report) - The Serbian Minister of the Economy, Mladan Dinkic is calling on the WAZ media group from Germany to leave Serbia because of its dubious intrigues. After a deal was revealed that was aimed at making the Essen-based company a leader on the Serbian market, Dinkic said that the WAZ cannot be allowed to take control of one of the country's most important daily newspapers, with "backroom business deals". The WAZ and its manager Bodo Hombach, (SPD), attempted, with the help of a front man, to buy, step by step, majority shares in the Vecernje Novosti, the country's largest selling daily newspaper. But the front man, a Serbian oligarch, does not want to turn over the shares in his temporary possession. A front man was needed for the deal because antitrust regulations did not allow the WAZ to buy the Serbian public opinion forming daily, Vecernje Novosti.
The German media group, headquartered in Essen, is the strongest West European company on the Southeast European press market owning up to 70 percent in several countries - padded by excellent relations to the political and business establishment.