Hungary’s Supreme Court rejects DIGI’s 5G auction appeal

Hungary’s Supreme Court rejects DIGI’s 5G auction appeal

Hungary’s Curia (Supreme Court) has dismissed an appeal by fixed and mobile provider DIGI against its exclusion from the country’s 5G spectrum allocation process by regulator NMHH (National Media & Infocommunications Authority).

As reported by TeleGeography, the NMHH prevented DIGI from bidding in Hungary’s 5G licence auction held in March 2020, in which the operator’s three main rivals each obtained 700MHz/3500MHz licences valid for 15 years.

DIGI had appealed the NMHH’s decision in the Metropolitan Court, which in November 2020 ruled in favour of the regulator. The Curia has now upheld the ruling that the Authority’s decision was legal, and DIGI is not allowed to appeal the Supreme Court’s final ruling.

In reaching its decision, the Curia noted that DIGI had applied to bid for a 5G licence indirectly via its parent firm Digi Communications, which is registered in the Netherlands but listed in Romania. The Curia deemed this strategy to be “deceptive” and “against the purity” of the auction process.

DIGI did not apply to bid directly because it would certain conditions attached to the auction would have precluded it from participating. One such proviso was that applicants must have a clean record in terms of regulatory infringements for the 24 months preceding the auction.

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