The Double Cross
28 September 2021
The European Commission has approved of a very important merger – between a powerful Chinese ally and Czech billionaire, Petr Kellner and the influential media group, Central European Media Enterprises. This could result in the manipulation of public opinion in favour of China all over the CEE region. What leverage has Beijing on Kellner? What are the security consequences of this merger for the EU? And why should the West care?
On 28 October 2019, PPF Group announced that its fully owned subsidiaries signed an agreement to acquire CME, an influential media group operating in the CEE region. A Special General Meeting of Shareholders confirmed the acquisition on the 27 February in Bermuda.
On 6 October, the European Commission approved of this merger leaving the last safety check on the anti-monopoly offices of each of the countries which this merger concerns.
Petr Kellner is the richest Czech, businessman and owner of the PPF group. Despite his declared political neutrality, Kellner is a highly influential shadow persona with considerable connections across the political spectrum with a proven track record of attempts to influence politics favourably to his business intentions.