TV channel vows to stay in Hungary despite ad tax

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Associated Press

Posted on July 15, 2014 at 11:01 AM

Updated Tuesday, Jul 15 at 11:38 AM

BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) — The head of Hungary's largest broadcaster says the company wants to remain in Hungary despite being seen as the main target of a new tax on advertising revenues.

RTL Klub CEO Dirk Gerkens said Tuesday that bowing to government pressure and leaving Hungary would be a "bad precedent" even though he cannot imagine a similar law being passed elsewhere in the European Union.

The tax approved in June hits Hungarian media companies' annual advertising revenues in several steps and has been severely criticized by media experts. Only RTL Klub has ad revenues affected by the highest tax rate of 40 percent and it says it will pay 15 million euros ($20.4 million) in tax this year.

The channel is a subsidiary of RTL Group, a Luxembourg-based media company.

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