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Statement by Executive Council Secretariat

The following is issued on behalf of the Executive Council Secretariat:

     The Executive Council Secretariat said today (November 5) that this morning it had received a letter from the solicitors representing Hong Kong Television Network Limited (HKTVN), requesting the consent of the Chief Executive (CE) in Council to disclose the "Consultant's reports on the competition implications of new entrants to the local free TV market" for HKTVN to respond to recent media reports on statements made by certain Members of the Legislative Council.

     The Government replied to HKTVN around noon today conveying our disagreement to the disclosure of the above-mentioned documents.

     The spokesman for the Executive Council Secretariat said that the above-mentioned documents were part of the information taken into account by the CE in Council in the process of considering applications for free TV licences. They were provided to all licence applicants by the Commerce and Economic Development Bureau (CEDB) for the purpose of enabling the applicants to make representations. When doing so, the CEDB had made it clear that such documents were provided on a confidential basis. Allowing HKTVN to disclose these documents would go beyond the purpose of providing them to the applicants, and is in breach of the long-established mechanism of the Executive Council. Such a partial and selective disclosure of information will also mislead the public.

     The spokesman for the Executive Council Secretariat added that the CEDB will issue a statement later today to further explain the considerations in the handling of the free TV licence applications.

Ends/Tuesday, November 5, 2013
Issued at HKT 15:43


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