Report: T-Mobile's Parent Company Might Be Screwing With Hungary's Press

Illustration for article titled Report: T-Mobiles Parent Company Might Be Screwing With Hungarys Press

Deutsche Telekom is the huge corporation that owns two-thirds of T-Mobile. It also, if you follow a chain of sub-companies, owns Origo.hu, a hugely popular Hungarian news site. Origo's editor in chief was just unceremoniously fired, after writing critically about the Hungarian government—which, incidentally, just inked a $1.5 billion broadband agreement with Deutsche Telekom. Something is rotten in the state of Hungary.

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This story comes to us from our Hungarian colleagues, and it sure sounds like Deutsche Telekom is throwing its weight around to get its way. Gergő Sáling, Origo.hu's former editor-in-chief, was unceremoniously canned this week, despite having shown no performance problems.

The timing is suspect: Origo recently blew the cover off of the expensive travel habits of a government official, Janos Lázár. And the Hungarian government has been putting pressure on Magyar Telekom, Deutsche Telekom's Hungarian subsidiary, to stop badmouthing the government.

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Now Origo is a skeleton crew. After Sáling's firing, a throng of Origo writers resigned in protest. And that multi-billion-dollar agreement with Deutsche Telekom is still going strong.

This puts a whole new spin on early termination fees.

Image: CEO of Deutsche Telekom Timotheus Hoettges, left, and CFO Thomas Dannenfeldt, right, are standing under the company logo at the balance news conference of the telecommunication company in Bonn, Germany, Thursday, March 6, 2014. (AP)

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DISCUSSION

jozsefkozma
Kozma József

To be fair, travel habits of János Lázár are not multi-million-dollar, but multi-million-forints. There was a series of articles about a hotel bill of 2 million Hungarian Forints, which János Lázár was reluctant to give account for. That's give or take $9000, nine thousand dollars, honestly a miserable amount of money to steal if you're a politician. And something not less importantly, Gergő Sáling, editor-in-chief of origo.hu has been working at origo for twelve years, that twelve years of work was just terminated this week.