Netanyahu to Haaretz: Likud MKs Didn't Tell Me Before Channel 10 Vote

DAVOS, Switzerland - Likud Chairman Benjamin Netanyahu, who is attending the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, Switzerland, has told Haaretz that he was surprised to hear about his party members' decision on Tuesday to vote against extending the license of the current franchisee operating Channel 10.

Likud MKs Gilad Erdan and Moshe Kahlon voted against the extension in the Knesset's Economic Affairs Committee, nixing it with a two-to-one majority. Erdan and Kahlon voted against the advice of professionals and that of the Communications Ministry, which favored allowing Channel 10's franchisee, Israel 10, to reach an agreement with the Second Broadcasting Authority on operating the channel in the future.

"I read about it with interest," Netanyahu said yesterday. "Gilad Erdan did not talk to me before he acted on Channel 10. No one asked my opinion. Obviously, it would have been preferable to make such a decision after the elections."

While Netanyahu stopped short of stating his position on the matter, he said: "I like competition, and in the past I promoted Channel 10."

The Knesset committee's discussion about Channel 10's future came after the franchisee was unable to repay debts to the tune of NIS 103 million.