Following a conditional thumbs-down last week from the Federal Cartel Office [WAMN: 09-Jan-05], a second German regulator yesterday placed a block on the acquisition of leading pay-TV operator ProSiebenSat.1 Media by Europe's largest newspaper publishing group Axel Springer.

Warning that the acquisition would create a "dominant opinion maker" with an estimated 22% share of the television market and a 26% share of the daily newspaper market, media regulator KEK on Tuesday rejected the proposed terms of the takeover.

ProSieben's eager sellers are led by US billionaire Haim Saban, whose fortune was founded on the kids' TV animated series Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Saban's consortium agreed the €4.2 billion ($5.07bn; £2.87bn) sale to Springer last August.

The consortium declined to comment on KEK's decision.

But a glimmer of hope remains. The FCO has given Springer until today, January 12, to present new proposals before making a final ruling on January 20.

Data sourced from Wall Street Journal Online; additional content by WARC staff