ProSieben Saga: Springer's Concession to Regulators

13 January 2006

Berlin-headquartered newspaper giant Axel Springer has performed a swift about-turn after the dual rejection by German competition regulators of its acquisition intentions for ProSiebenSat1, the nation's largest pay-TV company [WAMN: 12-Jan-06].

Prior to last week's thumbs-down by the Federal Cartel Office [WAMN: 09-Jan-05], Springer had spurned the FCO's offer to settle for acquisition of only three of ProSieben's four TV channels. And on Tuesday, influenced by that refusal, media regulator KEK also rejected the proposed takeover.

In what increasingly looks like a poker game between Springer and the regulators, the former has now changed its mind, offering to sell one of its four channels if the deal is waved through.

Insiders say that SBS Broadcasting of Luxembourg might play ball with Springer, while other moles point to a foreign partner.

Acceptance by the FCO of Springer's compromise may also persuade KEK to revoke Tuesday's veto.

Data sourced from Financial Times Online; additional content by WARC staff