Channel 10 challenges Netanyahu in High Court

Benjamin Netanyahu  picture: Reuters

Benjamin Netanyahu signed a demand for NIS 16.8 million on his last day as Minister of Finance.

Channel 10 today petitioned the High Court of Justice against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's decision to set the bid that the channel must pay at NIS 16.8 million.

Sources inform "Globes" that 10 days before the date on which the Channel 10's leaders were scheduled to notify the Second Authority for Television and Radio that it wanted a license, no investor has yet become the new controlling shareholder in the channel. Market sources say that the main reason is the Prime Minister's decision on the last day he held the post of Minister of Finance to set Channel 10's debt at NIS 16.8 million, instead of less than NIS 5 million, as recommended by the Ministry of Finance budget department.

This condition deterred Len Blavatnik from making a deal, and it now appears to also be having the same effect on high-tech entrepreneur Ilan Shiloah, the only one negotiating for an investment in the channel.

The channel is arguing that no bid at all should be charged. The bid is actually a tender bid that each commercial television franchise holder undertook to invest in a channel over the years. The Israel 10 group won the Channel 10 tender with this bid.

Netanyahu signed the bid requirement on his last day as Minister of Finance, although the requirement had been on his desk since December 16, 2014 without being signed.

According to Channel 10 CEO Yossi Warshavsky, "The channel and its employees expect Minister of Finance Moshe Kahlon to show leadership and take charge of things."

Adv. Yoram Bonen, who filed the petition, claims, "The state took four years to prepare an economic opinion, and the channel has been given only 10 days to comment on it. The Prime Minister acted underhandedly by making his decision a few hours before the government was sworn in and a new Minister of Finance entered the job, before the date set by the Ministry of Finance for submitting Channel 10's comments."

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on May 20, 2015

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2015

Benjamin Netanyahu  picture: Reuters
Benjamin Netanyahu picture: Reuters
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