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Media Freedom and Pluralism

Beata Klimkiewicz

Section 3: structural regulation: media pluralism, concentration, diversity of content and services

Chapter 11.regulating Media Concentration within the Council of Europe and the European Union

Mihály Gálik

Texte intégral

1Media products are as much cultural/political goods and services as they are economic goods and services. Given media products’ dual nature, it makes sense to differentiate between concentration in the media economic market and concentration in the political and/or cultural market (in the “marketplace of ideas”). As far as the media economic market is concerned, the issue of concentration is addressed by the general competition policy. Nevertheless, the vital importance of contemporary media may justify applying sector-specific concentration rules in the media industries. Indeed, this argument has been the cornerstone for media policies in democracies all over the world. Efforts to change regulatory practices and introduce new regulatory tools are taking shape both in the Member states of the European Union and in the United States, corresponding to the needs of a new, digital media environment. Besides dealing with the theoretical background behind media concentration measurement, this chapter focuses on the changes in regulatory processes over the last ten to fifteen years and summarizes the conflicting concepts and conflicting interests in efforts to regulate media concentration at a common European level.

11.1. Media concentration as an issue for scholars, businesses, and the general public

  • 1 I tend to use the two terms as synonyms in this paper.

2as most media scholars agree, there is a strong link between the level of media concentration and media pluralism and/or media diversity.1 The existence of this link corresponds both to some theoretical principles (e.g. the link between structure, conduct, and performance in an industry—an approach quite common in media economics schools) and numerous research findings. It is also supported by common sense. Nevertheless, it seems to be indirect in most cases, and it is rather hard to identify direct links between media concentration and media diversity.

3However, there are real reasons for concern about media concentration. It can harm consumers, competitors, and society as a whole. Media ownership concentration, as most scholars emphasize, raises two broad policy concerns. First, media firms with market power can restrict output, provide poorer services, and raise prices, reducing consumers’ economic welfare. Second, media concentration threatens diversity in media supply. It can hinder competition in the marketplace of ideas, restrict people’s chances of receiving information on public matters, and restrict people’s access to the media, reducing what could be called citizens’ communication welfare.

4Economies of scale and economies of scope, the two main factors behind concentrated markets, are fairly common in media industries, and most media scholars agree that media industries tend to be rather concentrated. Besides economies of scale and economies of scope, other factors also influence the level of media concentration. Managerial ambitions for company growth even at the expense of profitability, efforts to lower business risk, securing core resources, and counterbalancing the effects of business cycles are included in these factors, and it is quite obvious that a desire for social and/or political influence can be identified behind some mergers and acquisitions. All in all, typical forms of media concentration—horizontal, vertical, and diagonal/ cross—seem to reflect the growth strategies of firms and respond to changes in the business environment (Picard, 1998).

5As globalization in the media increases, some have suggested regulating media concentration on the transnational level. Although competition legislation on the EU level is also applied to media industries, so there is a basis for common European control of media concentration in the 27 Member states, most of them have sector-specific rules in this field as well, and the relevant national legislation differs widely.

6Both the Council of Europe (CoE) and the European Union (EU) have been trying to formulate a distinctive and comprehensive media policy, as countless documents testify. The two European organizations put great emphasis on strengthening media pluralism/media diversity, and they have often expressed the need for common media concentration regulation in Europe. Of course, overcoming the problems of designing, legislating, and implementing this common, sector-specific regulation will not be simple if the EU decides to follow this line. Is that a likely outcome, and is it really necessary in order to maintain and strengthen diversity in the European media scene?

11.2. Defining concentration

7In the broadest terms, concentration indicates the level of competition in an industry. An industry consists of firms producing products that can be substituted for one another by consumers. The level of competition can range from pure (perfect) competition to pure monopoly, from many sellers/service providers representing only a small part of the market to one seller/service provider that rules the market.

8“Relevant market” is a basic term applied in examining industry concentration. When determining a relevant market, both a product and a geographic market are defined. Products of comparable price and usage are a part of the same product market, and consumers may substitute them for one another (demand substitutability). it also needs to be considered whether other products on the market could be rapidly changed in order to substitute for others, or whether any firms are willing and able to supply products if the price increases (supply substitutability). When determining the geographic market, transportability and the costs thereof are particularly important.

9There are different indicators for measuring concentration, such as output, assets, use/consumption, and turnover/revenue, and showing the size distribution of market actors in a given industry. The number of actors in any industry depends on numerous factors, from product characteristics to the size of the national economy.

  • 2 As a matter of principle in management sciences, the reason behind M&A cases is to achieve competi (...)

10Article 3 of the EC Merger regulation (the Council regulation of 139/2004/EC on the control of concentration between undertakings, European Council 2004) goes into detail on different forms of business decisions that lead to higher levels of concentration in an industry. Where a change of control on a lasting basis results from the merger of previously independent undertakings, or from acquisition by one or more persons already controlling at least one undertaking, concentration shall be deemed to arise (M&a cases), and the creation of a joint venture performing on a lasting basis all the functions of an autonomous economic entity shall also constitute a concentration. Of course, any M&A case by definition results in increasing the level of concentration in a given industry.2

11Media goods and services are as much cultural/political goods and services as they are economic goods and services. Taking into account this dual nature of media goods and services it makes sense to differentiate between measuring concentration in the media economic market, and measuring concentration in the political and/or cultural market (in the “marketplace of ideas”).

11.3. Issues of measuring concentration in the media economic market

12Concerning the media economic market, the issue of concentration is addressed by the general competition policy: “The economic problem is not in any significant way different from the problem of concentration in other industries” (Owen, 2005, p. 7). Many media economics scholars share this approach (Rott and Kohlschein, 2006). Nevertheless, measuring concentration in the media economic market raises serious methodological problems.

13Media products—such as newspapers, magazines, radio, and television programs—are linked to technologies. When analyzing media concentration, technologies used in production and distribution frequently overtake the content. This situation also prevails today. At the same time the products aim to satisfy various consumer needs: for instance, political dailies and weeklies provide not only news, views, analysis, and background information but entertainment content as well. Comparing them with tabloid newspapers’ content, we see that tabloids give different weight to public events, give different coverage of the same news, give more room to pictures than to text and, of course, give first priority to entertainment.

14Searching for media product markets that are based on substitutability leads to focusing on media content. Different consumer needs are satisfied by different content, so this content can form different product markets as follows:

  • news market – opinion market
  • entertainment market
  • sitcoms
  • shows (game, reality, talk, contest, etc.)
  • soap operas
  • sport, etc.
  • culture/education market
  • advertising market

15Defining media markets by product content and not by the means of production and transmission of the products is the first principle underpinning the rules governing media concentration suggested by Robinson (1995). Nevertheless, precise distinctions among media content are, in many cases, nearly impossible. It is hard to tell where information ends and where entertainment begins, as the widely used term “infotainment” testifies. Defining relevant product markets runs into difficulties, as interpreting product substitution and aggregating production and consumption this way involves much more uncertainty than the traditional methods of measuring media products and services.

16Taking the example of the news market, the question has to be answered whether, from a consumer’s point of view, newspaper, magazine, radio, television, and portal news are substitutes for one another (i.e., whether they belong to the same industry). Additionally, one must decide whether to treat as equivalent the same amounts of time spent listening to radio news, watching television news, and reading news in newspapers. Since listening to the radio is generally a background activity, it is hard to accept that they are equivalent. But if they are not, it is difficult to aggregate different consumption figures measured by time spent.

17British research institutes and authorities tried to address these methodological problems in the early 1990s, but the results were not convincing (Robinson, 1995). It seems nowadays that summing up consumption figures by different media contents and/or functions cannot meet the strict requirement of practical legislation, so this method, regardless of its theoretical merits, has little value, if any, in regulating media concentration.

11.4. Regulatory tools in the political and/or cultural market (in the “marketplace of ideas”)

18Multimedia conglomerates reach huge audiences and exert political and cultural influence on the public, so there exist relevant markets in a political and cultural sense, too, argues Iosifides (1997a, p. 646). at the same time, he raises the question: “are measures tailored to mea-sure economic concentration good enough to capture concentration levels in the political and cultural market, the so-called ‘marketplace for ideas’?” it is hard to answer this question with a simple yes or no, and media scholars seem deeply divided on this issue.

19In searching for effective measurement of media concentration, a precise definition of “relevant market” in terms of competition regulation is not enough. The market for news and opinion needs more regulation than entertainment markets, suggests Robinson (1995, p. 54). Sánchez-Tabarnero and Carvajal (2002, pp. 148–149) propose to lower the threshold set by the EC Merger regulation on control of concentration between undertakings if media firms are concerned in merger and acquisition cases in the EU Member states. Whether we share these views or not, it is true that the promotion of media diversity/media pluralism is perhaps the most important policy objective in democratic societies all over the world.

20The initiatives of the Council of Europe to promote media pluralism and curb media concentration go back to the mid-1970s. Numerous documents, such as resolutions, recommendations, declarations by the Committee of Ministers, and studies by experts’ groups have addressed the subject since then. One can say that the Council of Europe has put emphasis on protecting media pluralism instead of focusing directly on regulating media concentration at a common European level.

21Defining media pluralism is not an easy exercise; various bodies of the Council of Europe have developed the notion of media pluralism over the last few decades. Although there are different angles, media pluralism is seen mainly as pluralism of media content. That is, the diversity of media content marketed and available to the general public is the central concept of the term. as the declaration on the Freedom of expression and information, adopted by the Committee of Ministers in 1982, says, “The member states of the Council of Europe […] should adopt polices to foster as much as possible a variety of media and a plurality of information sources, thereby allowing a plurality of ideas and opinions” (Council of Europe, Committee of Ministers, 1982).

22The Group of experts on Media Pluralism measures the diversity of media supply according to four elements:

  • “the existence of a plurality of autonomous and independent media;
  • diversity of media types and contents available to the public, resulting in a diversity of choice;
  • segments of society capable of addressing the public by means of media owned by, or affiliated to them;
  • diversity of media contents in relation to:
  • media functions (information, education, entertainment, etc.)
  • issues covered (range of subjects, opinions and ideas covered by and represented by the media)
  • audience groups served” (Jakubowicz, 2006b, pp. 5–6).

23Looking at the efforts to describe media pluralism and/or media diversity in the United States, the Federal Communications Commission defines five types of diversity pertinent to media ownership policy: viewpoint, outlet, program, source, and minority and female ownership diversity (FCC, 2003, p. 8). The variety of viewpoints available to the public is closely linked to the number of independent media outlets in a given market, and a variety of program formats is best achieved by reliance on competitive markets. Nevertheless, the FCC rejects the notion that promotion of competition through antitrust would ensure adequate viewpoint diversity.

24The idea that the vital importance of contemporary media justifies the sector-specific concentration rules regarding media industries has been the cornerstone for media policies in democracies all over the world. Policy objectives like ensuring media pluralism; protecting freedom of expression; and fostering reflection in the media of diverse views and opinions that characterize a democratic society have been supported by a different set of instruments in the field of media concentration regulation that reach far beyond the scope of general competition law.

25The additional controls applied range from maximizing the number of broadcasting licenses one entity may hold in a specific geographic (local, regional, national) market to cross-media restrictions, from specific merger control rules to maximizing voting rights in a television broadcaster, from audience share ceilings to foreign ownership rules, and so on. The wide variety of regulatory measures is based mostly on traditions and mirrors a common belief that competition law (antitrust legislation), regardless of its own merits in maintaining and developing media diversity, cannot replace specific national controls.

26While no one questions the paramount social importance and weight of contemporary media, the need for sector-specific regulation over media concentration has been challenged by some leading scholars.

27“The primary rationale for [media] regulation has been the need to compensate the imbalance of power between huge monopoly suppliers and small and ignorant users. In a converged environment with full choice, however, the imbalance will change. This will solve traditional problems of […] content diversity,” said Eli Noam (1996, p. 46), at the dawn of the media’s digital age.

28Of course, this techno-optimistic vision can be challenged now that ten years have passed. But the conclusion that new times need new regulation seems valid: interconnectivity among networks and maintaining support mechanisms for universal connectivity constitute primary goals for regulation in the digital age. Besides, as we are witnessing, sector-specific media concentration rules have been abolished in some European countries in recent years (European Commission— DG information society and Media, 2007a). These two things demonstrate that times have truly changed, and that the conventional wisdom, which takes for granted the need for sector-specific concentration measures in the media, no longer helps by itself.

29A look at various nation-states suggests that the trend of deregulation has prevailed both in Europe and in the U.S. over the last ten to fifteen years. The ceiling on the number of broadcasting licenses is slowly being repealed and/or replaced by audience share limits in the European countries where specific media concentration measures are applied. The same ceilings in local radio and television were lowered in the United States by the FCC after the Telecommunications act of 1996 was passed. Cross-media restrictions are tending to loosen in other countries as well.

11.5. Conflicting concepts and conflicting interests: efforts to regulate media concentration at a common European level

  • 3 This regulation was renewed in 2004 as the Council regulation of 139/2004/ EC on the control of co (...)

30The Council regulation of 4064/89/EEC on the control of concentrations between undertakings3 as part of competition legislation within the Community laid down the rules for M&A cases on a common European level, and it covered some media concentration cases as well. article 21 (3) gave power to Member states to take appropriate measures to protect the plurality of media while applying this law, but the objective of regulating media concentration in general at Community level has been far more ambitious than this tiny legal loophole.

31Support for sector-specific regulation has been widely shared by both media scholars and MPs of the European Parliament. When preparing legislation on cross-border television in the 1980s, many experts and MPs argued for covering media concentration in the EU directive, and the same is true for the Council of Europe Convention on cross-border television, but in the end, these efforts failed.

32At the end of 1992, the Commission of the European Communities published a policy document (Green Paper) under the title “Pluralism and Media Concentration in the internal Market—an assessment of the need for Community action” (European Commission, 1992). The Green Paper outlines three possible options on the regulation of media concentration at Community level:

  • no specific action;
  • action regulating transparency;
  • action to harmonize laws.

33Out of the three options, the first one was chosen. Nevertheless, it was not an easy outcome, as debates within the College of Commissioners and among the directorate Generals lasted for years. Council regulation as a tool for legislating media concentration was ruled out from the very beginning, and the two proposals on a media concentration directive that were tabled in the mid 1990s did not have the backing necessary for passage by the Commission. Consequently, efforts at legislating media concentration at Community level were phased out by the end of the 1990s (Doyle, 2002).

34Pursuing two goals simultaneously—protecting media pluralism and creating a single European media market—involves a built-in contradiction between the two goals (Harrison and Woods, 2001). Attempting to reconcile these conflicting objectives, we arrive at a gray zone of regulation: optimal regulation of media concentration at a common European level simply does not exist in a normative sense, due to irreconcilable differences in the regulatory process, so there are only different kinds of options.

35Stakeholders have different interests concerning regulation of media concentration at the common European level. The difference between the interests of industry players and the general public is obvious, as it stems from the dual nature (cultural/political and economic) of media goods and services. This conflict was even mirrored in the approaches of different directorates-General of the European Commission toward regulating media concentration at EU level until the mid-1990s (Harcourt, 1998).

36There is a hidden conflict between Member states and the Commission as well. Although the need for common regulation on media concentration is not questioned publicly by Member states in the European Union, direct regulatory tools are not applied at the Community level. On the one hand, Member states strive to incorporate their own regulatory vision at the EU level and are not keen to arrive at a consensus. On the other hand, Member states seem reluctant to give up their own regulatory power on media concentration for political reasons: one can say that political elites in nation-states are reluctant to cede even a part of their sector-specific regulatory power on media concentration to the Community.

  • 4 Considering the relevance of public service broadcasting within the context of limiting media conc (...)

37although there is no specific media concentration legislation at the Community level, the recognition of the role of public service broadcasting, a number of existing legal instruments (Amsterdam Protocol, AVMS directive), and action programs (eEurope, i2010, Media+ series) contribute directly or indirectly to curbing media concentration at the Community level. Member states obviously have broad power in taking measures and promoting the non-market part of the national media scene, and in exercising this power they exert influence on concentration of the audiovisual media in general.4

38a policy document, The Future of European Regulatory Audiovisual Policy, issued by the Commission (European Commission, 2003), stresses that safeguarding media pluralism involves limiting the level of media concentration: “Measures to ensure media pluralism typically limit maximum holdings in media companies and prevent cumulative control or participation in several media companies at the same time” (European Commission, 2003, p. 8).

  • 5 OJ C 25 E, 29.1.2004, pp. 205–207.

39The European Parliament volunteered to revitalize the efforts on regulating media concentration at a Community level, and it adopted a resolution on media concentration on November 20, 2002.5 MPs called on the Commission to launch a broad and comprehensive consultation process on media pluralism and media concentration and to draw up an updated Green Paper by the end of 2003, but the Commission failed to meet this deadline. Of course, during the tiresome process of preparing the long-awaited amendment to the TWVF directive and while working on the audiovisual Media services directive, which was finally adopted at the end of 2007 (European Parliament and the Council, 2007), the topic was discussed in some sense, but it was clearly outside the center of debate.

11.6. Recent efforts to measure diversity and regulate concentration in the media scene

40The Federal Communications Commission relaxed its media ownership rules slightly in 2003 and created a new tool called the diversity index (DI) in order to measure the diversity of sources of media content available in local markets. The DI is applied in the market of news and public affairs and counts the number of media outlets in local markets. For the national markets of news and public affairs, there are multiple sources available to the general public, and the FCC believes that no governmental regulation is needed to preserve access to them (FCC, 2003, pp. 163–164).

  • 6 The HHI is widely used in antitrust legislation in the United States, and its benchmark values gui (...)

41Instead of weighting individual media channels by revenue or audience size, the DI introduces medium-specific weights based on the survey information derived from the “Consumer survey on Media usage” prepared by Nielsen Media research. These weights represent the relative importance of each medium to the public, and they are used to aggregate independently owned media outlets as sources in the local news market. Each independent outlet, irrespective of its audience share, is treated as an equal source of information and named “voice.” “By analogy with competition analysis, the diversity index is inspired by the Herfindahl-Hirschmann index (HHI) formulation,6 calculating the sum of squared market shares of relevant providers in each local market” (FCC, 2003, pp. 159–160).

42The FCC believes that the DI can be used for similar purposes in the marketplace of ideas, as the DI reflects the degree of concentration of viewpoint diversity in local markets: “While the diversity index is not perfect, nor absolutely precise, it is certainly a useful tool to inform our judgment in decision-making. It provides us with guidance, informing us about the marketplace and giving us a sense of relative weights of different media. it informs, but does not replace, our judgment in establishing rules of general applicability that determine where we should draw lines between diverse and concentrated markets” (FCC, 2003, p. 158). It seems obvious that DI would serve for the FCC as an indicator in concentration regulation and/or in analyzing M&A cases in the electronic media.

43Although the FCC’s proposal to create the DI and use it to mea-sure the news and public affairs market has not become a part of its media ownership regulation, it ignited seminal professional debate among media scholars in the United States. Owen (2005), who regards the present media ownership rules of the FCC as strictly unconstitutional, welcomes the DI as an important step toward measuring media concentration in a more sensible way. He is convinced that it makes no sense to measure media concentration using revenue or audience weights: if popularity and/or use in a given channel arises from consumer choice rather than structural barriers to market entry, potential sources of news are equal to citizens. He supports using the DI to count voices in a given market, but he sees serious flaws in its construction. In the end, his criticism outweighs his support, and he rejects the use of the DI.

44Noam also emphasizes that the “voice count” measure is not without merit, but unlike Owen, he does not accept the method that all voices are equal when counting independently owned media outlets in local markets. He argues that large media outlets have the resources— the talent, marketing strength, and brand value—and that their market power is used to obtain an audience. “Equality of opportunity does not mean an equality of outcomes. But merely counting the number of participants in a market is not the best test applied in other industries. The question is how to bridge the two concepts, market power and voices. The starting point should be to acknowledge that both market power and diversity are legitimate factors to consider, and to omit the one or the other leaves out a major factor and invites reasoned opposition” (Noam, 2006, p. 72).

45At the same time Noam proposes to construct a new index called the Media ownership Concentration and diversity index (MOCDI), dividing the regular HHI that measures the market power in an industry by the square root of the number of voices in a media market. Additionally, he proposes to set media concentration thresholds that depend on the size of the market, and he is trying to construct a sensible formula as well. A thorough analysis of his proposed measurement tools is beyond the scope of this chapter, but we wish to emphasize that there is a real need to detach from the methods applied in regulating media concentration in the past.

46As for Europe, responding to concerns on media concentration in the EU Member states, the Commission launched a new initiative on media pluralism in January 2007. The three-step approach contains:

  • a Commission staff Working Paper on Media Pluralism that was published in the beginning (European Commission—DG information society and the Media, 2007a);
  • an independent study on media pluralism;
  • a Commission Communication on the indicators for media pluralism in the EU Member states, on which a broad public consultation will take place.

47The need for concrete indicators to measure media pluralism in Member states is emphasized in the Working Paper mentioned above. It even defines the structure of the study: indicators should be developed on the policies and legal instruments that support media pluralism, and on the range of media available to citizens in different Member states; in addition, the study has to propose supply-side indicators on the economics of the media. Although there is no reference to the FCC’s diversity index in the staff Working Paper, one might well see a connection between the Commission’s initiative to put the issue of media pluralism again on the agenda and the new way FCC is trying to handle media diversity.

48As far as the Council of Europe is concerned, two documents relevant for pluralism issues were recently issued: “recommendation on Media Pluralism and diversity of Media Content” (Council of Europe, Committee of Ministers 2007c) and “declaration on Protecting the role of the Media in democracy in the Context of Media Concentration” (Council of Europe, Committee of Ministers, 2007d), adopted by the Committee of Ministers on January 31, 2007. As regards the approach and focus of the documents, the Council of Europe follows its own tradition in dealing with media concentration. The new recommendation covers ownership regulation in detail, declaring inter alia that ownership rules “may include introducing thresholds based on objective and realist criteria, such as the audience share, circulation, turnover/revenue, the share of capital or voting rights,” and also endorses scientific research on the subject.

11.7. Conclusion

49As a result of convergence, both demand and supply substitutability tend to increase in media markets. Consumers can access media services via different electronic communication networks, and this very fact may lead to more diverse media consumption and less media concentration. of course, increased supply substitutability is just an opportunity for consumers, and it does not in itself guarantee more diverse media consumption.

50The rapid diffusion of broadband internet household access in developed and emerging economies is accompanied by considerable changes in media use. On the one hand, demand for traditional media products and services is decreasing; on the other, the supply provided by amateurs or semi-professionals tends to reach bigger and bigger audiences. Generally speaking, the borders between public and private communication are blurring, as blogs, vlogs, and citizen journalism, as well as the remarkable popularity of social networking sites testify. The final result of mass customization in audiovisual media services, the socalled “egocasting” and the arrival of the “prosumer” define new kinds of audiovisual services outside the institutional media.

51Although the need for common regulation on media concentration is not questioned openly in the European Union, in the digital media age direct sector-specific regulatory tools are not applied at Community level. Member states seem reluctant to give up their own regulatory power on media concentration for political reasons.

52Declarations on the vital importance of public service broadcasting in preserving media pluralism and limiting media concentration are very important, although EU and Coe Member states alike seem to retain their present regulatory powers in this field, too. Research projects on the system of public service broadcasting need more support from both the EU and the Coe, and co-opting community initiatives into public broadcasting services should be a relevant part of the research agenda.

53Prospects for comprehensive common European regulation on media concentration look rather vague. The role of the Council of Europe in initiating regulatory measures on media concentration tends to be diminishing, due to EU enlargement. Nevertheless, research on the methodology of measuring media pluralism/diversity and regulating concentration really deserves support. The European Commission’s new initiative on media pluralism seems promising in terms of revitalizing research in this field, as testified to by the launch of the project “independent study on indicators for Media Pluralism in the Member states—Towards a risk-Based approach.”


1 I tend to use the two terms as synonyms in this paper.

2 As a matter of principle in management sciences, the reason behind M&A cases is to achieve competitive advantage in the market.

3 This regulation was renewed in 2004 as the Council regulation of 139/2004/ EC on the control of concentrations between undertakings (The EC Merger regulation).

4 Considering the relevance of public service broadcasting within the context of limiting media concentration, it is worth mentioning that there are “government failures” alongside “market failures.” The term “government failures” generally refers to the shortcomings in regulation of public institutions. Public service broadcasters are not at all exempt from these shortcomings, as recent research findings also indicate: Petković et al.(2004), OSI (2005).

5 OJ C 25 E, 29.1.2004, pp. 205–207.

6 The HHI is widely used in antitrust legislation in the United States, and its benchmark values guide the government in initiating steps in horizontal M&A cases (Horizontal Merger Guidelines, U.S. department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission, 1992 and 1997). If the HHI in an industry is below 1000 in a post-merger situation, the government agencies in question consider the markets to be unconcentrated and, as a rule of thumb, require no further analysis. There is a set of rules in the Horizontal Merger Guidelines for horizontal M&A cases where post-merger HHI is between 1000 and 1800, and where it exceeds 1800; these cases do require further analysis and may lead to regulatory actions.


Mihály Gálik (PhD in Economics) has been Professor at the Corvinus University of Budapest since 1996. He heads the Department of Media, Marketing Communications and Telecommunications since 2000. From 1993 to 1996 he was associate Professor. Before he acted as a Managing director at the Hungarian radio (1990–1992) and editor of the economic Program department (1976–1990). He has been co-ordinating numerous research projects on the media in Hungary in the last twenty years and been involved in a couple of international media research projects, as well. E-mail:

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