Clouds over third mobile operator tender

A RECENT TENDER for a third mobile operator in Slovakia may have run afoul of the law, according to the unsuccessful bidders.

Patrik Krauspe, a member of the selection commission that chose the Spanish Telefónica with a narrow majority, is also a manager with the DanubiaTel group, another telecom business. It is unusual for an industry player to have a role in deciding which company will be given a chance to compete on the market.

According to the Pravda daily, Telefónica's opponents in the tender have complained that Krauspe could have faced a conflict of interests, and also could have gained access to inside information about Telefónica's business plans.

"If any member of the commission has a conflict of interests, this is a reason for the competition to be re-opened," said Emília Sičáková-Beblavá of Transparency International Slovensko.

However, according to Milan Luknár, the head of the Slovak Telekomunikačný úrad (TÚ) telecoms authority, Krauspe signed a declaration saying he was not biased.

The Austrian Mobilkom, which ranked second in the tender for the mobile operator license, as well as the Slovak Penta group, which was a member of the third ranking B Four consortium, have doubts over the tender, and Penta is even considering legal steps in the matter.

Get daily Slovak news directly to your inbox

Top stories

News digest: Lockdown not out of the question, PM Matovič says

The overview of news from Wednesday, October 21, 2020.

PM Igor Matovič says lockdown is still in play.

A curfew for those who refuse testing? Lawyers and president have doubts

The government risks the Constitutional Court canceling the nationwide testing.

Illustrative stock photo

The cabinet approves plan for permanent kurzarbeit

The new fund is expected to be introduced from 2022.

Labour Minister Milan Krajniak