IBJNews

Emmis strikes out in attempt to claim damages from Hungary

Chris O'Malley
April 21, 2014
Keywords
Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

An international tribunal for settling financial disputes has issued a verdict of sorts for Indianapolis-based Emmis Communications Corp. In a  word, "Bocsanat."

That’s how you say “sorry” in Hungarian. An arbitration panel has ruled that the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes doesn’t have the jurisdiction to hear an appeal Emmis filed after Hungary took away its broadcast license for “SlagerRadio” in 2009.

For a dozen years, Emmis and co-investors operated the popular radio station that drew 3½ million listeners weekly. But the Republic of Hungary’s equivalent of the Federal Communications Commission later handed rights to the station to a political party in the former communist country of 9.9 million people.

A frustrating journey through the Hungarian justice system led Emmis and other investors in SlagerRadio to seek damages from Hungary through the ICSID, believing it would be the best forum for their claims. But on April 16, the ICSID issued a ruling saying it didn't have jurisdiction.

In a statement issued Monday, Emmis said it would explore other venues for appeal of the “unlawful” taking of the station. Emmis said it and its partners invested $170 million in Hungarian operations over the years.

Emmis CEO Jeff Smulyan said he was extremely disappointed in the decision.

“We are incredibly frustrated to be denied this international forum to remedy the egregious acts of the Hungarian government,” Smulyan said in a statement. "While the Hungarian government may have prevailed in this purely jurisdictional decision, unfortunately, the real losers are the Hungarian people."

Emmis “will evaluate over the coming weeks whether any other viable forums exist," according to Monday's statement.

The legal battle hasn’t been cheap for Emmis, which spent at least $1.8 million in legal fees for the Hungarian case during the nine months ending Sept. 30, according to its financial statements.

Emmis owns 22 stations in the United States, including in the major markets of New York and Los Angeles. Its Indianapolis properties include WIBC-FM 93.1, WLHK-FM “The Hank” 97.1 and WYXB-FM 105.7.

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. In reality, Lilly is maintaining profit by cutting costs such as Indiana/US citizen IT workers by a significant amount with their Tata Indian consulting connection, increasing Indian H1B's at Lillys Indiana locations significantly and offshoring to India high paying Indiana jobs to cut costs and increase profit at the expense of U.S. workers.

  2. I think perhaps there is legal precedence here in that the laws were intended for family farms, not pig processing plants on a huge scale. There has to be a way to squash this judges judgment and overrule her dumb judgement. Perhaps she should be required to live in one of those neighbors houses for a month next to the farm to see how she likes it. She is there to protect the people, not the corporations.

  3. http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/engineer/facts/03-111.htm Corporate farms are not farms, they are indeed factories on a huge scale. The amount of waste and unhealthy smells are environmentally unsafe. If they want to do this, they should be forced to buy a boundary around their farm at a premium price to the homeowners and landowners that have to eat, sleep, and live in a cesspool of pig smells. Imagine living in a house that smells like a restroom all the time. Does the state really believe they should take the side of these corporate farms and not protect Indiana citizens. Perhaps justifiable they should force all the management of the farms to live on the farm itself and not live probably far away from there. Would be interesting to investigate the housing locations of those working at and managing the corporate farms.

  4. downtown in the same area as O'malia's. 350 E New York. Not sure that another one could survive. I agree a Target is needed d'town. Downtown Philly even had a 3 story Kmart for its downtown residents.

  5. Indy-area residents... most of you have no idea how AMAZING Aurelio's is. South of Chicago was a cool pizza place... but it pales in comparison to the heavenly thin crust Aurelio's pizza. Their deep dish is pretty good too. My waistline is expanding just thinking about this!

ADVERTISEMENT