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Turkey, India Look to Raise Foreign-Ownership Caps

Both countries set to allow greater foreign direct investment in broadcasters

Foreign direct investment, or FDI, in broadcasting is commonly limited by regulators, but India and Turkey are both looking at adjusting how much a non-national can own of a broadcasting operation.

The Information and Broadcasting Ministry in India has accepted a proposal made by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India last June to raise the limit on FDI in FM radio from 20 percent to 26 percent. The move is expected to help bring new funds into the FM radio sector in the country.

The move still must be approved by the federal cabinet and then by the Parliament of India.

In Turkey, the Grand National Assembly, or the Meclis, approved legislation doubling the FDI cap on broadcast operations to 50 percent.

The change is part of a set of legislation being debated by the Meclis that will reshape the broadcast regulator, the Radyo ve Televizyon Üst Kurulu (RTÜK).

Among the other articles approved, Turkey will now allow broadcasters to operate in languages other than Turkish, and a mechanism was established for the prime minister to implement temporary broadcast bans if it is in the interest of national safety or public order.

The question of FDI in Turkey is sensitive at the moment as media house Dogan Yayin is looking to sell off several television and newspaper assets and the U.S.-based Time Warner and private equity funds KKR and TPG are on the shortlist of potential buyers.

The legislation needs the approval of Turkish President Abdullah Gül before it goes into effect.