Telekom Serbia sees its plan to destroy UM as ‘European best practice’

Source: UM

While Serbia's secret service agents investigate who from state-owned Telekom Srbija company has leaked its illegal contract with privately-owned Telenor, Vladmir Lucic, Telekom director reiterates that all is done in line with the law.

„The contract is in line with the European best practice and has no exclusivity. Telenor can enter the market without a problem and make its programme in accordance to own strategy,“ Lucic said.

However, the document he signed and N1 had access to, showed a different story, i.e. a plan under which government-controlled Telekom Serbia was to join forces with Czech tycoon Petr Kellner’s Telenor to reduce cable services provider SBB’s market share to less than 30 percent.

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A Telenor shareholder Ladislav Bartoniček claimed the company wanted to become a new, powerful Internet and TV services provider.

„SBB has politicised a very standard business agreement between Telenor Srbija and Telekom Srbija. The contract follows all laws and regulations in the country and is sent to Serbia’s respective regulatory body for the approval,“ he added.

However, Bartoniček did not mention that the agreement stipulated his company would pay for using the Telekom optic 17 million Euro for 15 years, which Serbia had invested half a billion Euro, or how come that it would pay only for the first three years, and for the next 12 the optic usage would be for free.

Despite being the state-owned company, Telekom does not submit its financial reports publically, and all that the public may learn is what Lukic says: „In 2021 we’ll make a double higher profit than in 2020 which was much better than 2019.“ He does not support the claim with any further details, nor he gives figures for the last two years.

But, he said he brought all decisions on his own, adding no one ever ordered him to do something, and he was „always protecting Telekom business’ interests.“

However, N1 TV Executive Producer Igor Bozic recalled that N1 TV had learned how Lukic had mentioned an agreement between them Serbia’s President Aleksandar Vucic and his Hungarian counterpart Viktor Orban several times during the 388th session of the Telekom Executive Board held via ‘Microsoft Teams,’

„What is it about? Two presidents agree, and he (Lukic) carries out something aimed at destroying media in Serbia. We won’t give up in demanding answers to why is that possible,“ Bozic added.

‘NewsMax Adria’ Director Slobodan Georgiev reminded that Telekom borrowed 200 million Euro last September because „it did not have money to function after spreading too wide.“

„That’s money Serbia’s people will have to pay back. What do the Telekom shareholders know about its businesses? Nothing. We must wait for Lucic to come out when he feels like it and tell us what does he spend that money for,“ Georgijev said.

After speaking to two pro-government media outlets, Lucic has an open invitation to talk to N1 TV.