Cable channel loses lawsuit against suspension order

SEOUL– MBN, a cable TV channel, on Thursday lost a lawsuit against the government’s order to suspend its operation for six months for accounting fraud.

The Korea Communications Commission (KCC) handed the heavy punishment in November 2020, accusing the network of manipulating its balance sheet to win a broadcast license in 2010 and falsifying its regulatory filings between 2011 and 2018.

MBN filed a lawsuit with the Seoul Administrative Court in January 2021 to invalidate the suspension.

The court on Thursday sided with the broadcasting regulator, citing the seriousness of irregularities committed by the cable channel.
“The plaintiff’s misconduct is seen as a serious violation of the law,” the court said.

“Even considering various circumstances cited by the plaintiff, it is difficult to see that the punishment is too harsh,” it added.

If the ruling is finalized, all MBN programs must be blacked out for six months.

MBN can appeal the ruling and seek an injunction against it.

In January 2021, MBN sought an injunction against the suspension order, saying the penalty was too heavy and it had already corrected its problematic practices.

The following month, the court granted the injunction.

MBN, affiliated with Maeil Business Newspaper, was accused by the KCC of cooking the books to conceal a portion of capital raised under the borrowed names of its employees, thereby violating the Broadcasting Act.

The manipulation was part of its plans to raise 300 billion won (US$211 million), the minimum requirement to acquire a license to operate a general programming cable TV network, according to the KCC.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

scroll to top