German Antitrust Chief Mulls Newspaper-TV Deal

05 September 2005

Germany's chief competition regulator has expressed concern over newspaper publisher Axel Springer's proposed takeover of the country's biggest private TV broadcaster ProSiebenSat.1.

The $3.75 billion ($4.44bn; £2.43bn) deal is subject to scrutiny by anti-trust president Ulf Böge, who is worried about the potential increase in power resulting from a union of the right-leaning broadcaster and the publisher of Germany's biggest selling, and equally rightist, daily newspaper Bild.

In an interview with Frankfurter Rundschau newspaper, Böge says: "The Bild newspaper dominates the market with a 60% share. This will only be strengthened by merging with television."

He also points out that around 40% of the advertising market would be controlled by the new company and its biggest broadcast competitor, the RTL Group.

Springer announced last month that it had bought a majority stake in ProSiebenSat.1 from a consortium of investors led by US billionaire Haim Saban [WAMN: 08-Aug-05].

Böge's office will rule on the takeover by the end of November.

Data sourced from Deutsche Welle (Germany); additional content by WARC staff