Hungary / Supreme Court / Kfv.III.37.666/2012/27 Three mobile operators v state authority entitled to utilize radio frequencies owned by the state

Key facts of the case:

The respondent launched an auction for the use of radio frequencies owned by the state. At the time of launching, a ministerial decree provided that state-run companies may not acquire a certain block of these frequencies, but later on another decree was issued by the National Media and Infocommunications Authority (Nemzeti Média- és Hírközlési Hatóság, NMHH) which did not contain this restriction. Applicants included the plaintiffs and the third party intervener, which was new on the Hungarian market and was indirectly owned by the state. Since the rules of the auction favoured providers not present in Hungary before, the third party intervener acquired the block of frequencies. Further blocks of frequencies were acquired by the plaintiffs, but their use was subjected e.g. to the condition that they allow the third party intervener to use their networks in relation to domestic roaming. The plaintiffs finally requested the judicial review of the respondent’s decision. The first instance court abolished the decision, which was agreed on by the Curia. Both courts came to the conclusion that the third party intervener was not entitled to participate in the auction due to the ban included in the ministerial decree. It was also concluded that the services related to domestic roaming had been unlawfully demanded, and were not undertaken voluntarily, which was in contradiction with the Authorisation Directive (European Union, Directive 2002/20/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 7 March 2002 on the authorisation of electronic communications networks and services).

Paragraphs referring to EU Charter: 

 

When interpreting the Authorisation Directive, the Curia shall interpret it as the Court of Justice of the European Union would. As elaborated on by the Grand Chamber of the Court of Justice of the European Union under Consideration 44. of the decision brought in the case Aklagaren v. Hans Akerberg Fransson, C-167/10 of 26 February 2013, delivered on the same day as the present decision, even though the [European] Convention [on Human Rights] does not constitute part of the Union law, Article 52 (3) of the Charter requires that rights contained in the Charter which correspond to rights guaranteed by the ECHR to be given the same meaning and scope as those laid down by the above Convention. Article 47 of the Charter regulates the right to an effective remedy and the right to a fair trial, and if the content of the latter covers Article 6 (1) of the Convention, than the case-law of the European Court of Human Rights is also an authoritative aspect of interpretation regarding Section 7 of Annex B of the Authorisation Directive.

Paragraphs referring to EU Charter (original language): 

 

Az Engedélyezési Irányelv értelmezésekor a Kúriának úgy kellett értelmeznie az irányelvet, mint ahogy azt az Európai Unió Bírósága tenné. Ahogy azt az Európai Unió Bíróságának nagytanácsa az Aklagaren v. Hans Akerberg Fransson C-167/ 10. számú ügyben jelen ítélettel azonos napon hozott 2013. február 26-i ítéletének 44. megfontolásában kifejtette, az Egyezmény ugyan nem az uniós jog része, de a Charta 52. cikk (3) bekezdése azt a kötelezettséget írja elő, hogy a Chartában foglalt, az Egyezmény által biztosított jogok tartalmát és terjedelmét azonosnak kell tekinteni azokéval, amelyek az említett egyezményben szerepelnek. A Charta 47. cikke a hatékony jogorvoslathoz és a tisztességes eljáráshoz való jogot szabályozza, és ha ennek tartalma lefedi az Egyezmény által biztosított 6. cikk 1. bekezdését, akkor az Emberi Jogok Európai Bíróságának gyakorlata, az Engedélyezési Irányelv B. melléklet 7. pontja tekintetében is egy értelmezési szempont.

Language: 
Hungarian
Deciding body (original language): 
Kúria
Language: 
Hungarian