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Cyta pulls out of race for 2nd Cyprus digital TV platform

Wednesday 07 July 2010 by

Bidding continues at €6.8 mln 

State owned telecom operator Cyta, dogged by financial scandals involving board members and a hostile parliament that is refusing to approve funds, has pulled out of a three-way bidding war for the island’s second digital television license. 

Cyta withdrew from the race when the bidding was still at EUR 5 mln, with the two remaining contenders, Velister and LRG Enterprises, raising the bar to EUR 6.8 mln. 

Public broadcaster CyBC has already been awarded one of the two digital platforms free of charge, with all of the private national broadcasters and two other telcos (Primetel, Cablenet) joining forces under the Velister joint venture. 

The bidding process continues Wednesday with the license awarded to whichever of the two accept the highest bid. 

The Communications Regulator started the bidding at 850,000 euros. 

DISMISSAL 

Meanwhile, Cyta chairman Stathis Kittis has asked President Christofias to dismiss the board member under investigation for allegedly selling so-easy prepaid SIM cards worth 300,000 euros. The board member in question has also resigned his executive post at Cyta’s e-commerce subsidiary, Emporion Plaza. 

The House Ways and Means Committee also discovered that the entire system under which CyTA operates is seriously flawed. It heard that board members were using their corporate credit cards for personal expenses, including lavish meals and tickets to a football match in the UK.

First published on www.financialmirror.com on 30/06/2010