Eastern Europe Holds On to Music Archives

INTERNATIONAL INVESTORS were dismayed late this summer when the Hungarian State Privatization and Holding Company (APV Rt.) announced the results of a tender for the former government-owned recording company Hungaroton. Despite a $5.3 million bid by the international music group PolyGram, APV Rt. awarded the tender to a consortium of local Hungarian musicians whose offer was less than half of PolyGram’s. Together with other multinationals, PolyGram expressed outrage at this decision, claiming that its bid had been turned down solely because it was a foreign company. The Hungarian government responded that the decision had been reached in accordance with privatization regulations, while Privatization Minister Tamas Suchman said he was pleased that Hungaroton’s archive would remain in Hungarian hands.1