Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Big Nyet

The Disney Co.'s global reach as just been stunted a bit:

Walt Disney has been refused permission to go ahead with a $233 million deal to set up a national free-to-air TV network in Russia.

Russia’s powerful Federal Anti-Monopoly Commission (FAS) said the deal for a 49% stake in a joint venture with regional commercial network Media One TV, which runs channels in 30 of the country’s 89 regions, was not in the interests of free competition.

This "free competition" enthusiasm by the Russians is kind of a new wrinkle for them, since until 1990, they weren't real big proponents of free competition. Of course, there might be some other motivation besides free market idealism:

In a country where TV is a politically sensitive strategic industry, there could be more to [the] decision than meets the eye.

“It’s not business, but politics,” one unidentified local TV exec told business daily Kommersant.

You think?


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