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High court dashes Springer’s TV plans

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  • skytec
    Experienced Board Member
    • Mar 2010
    • 1208

    High court dashes Springer’s TV plans

    The Federal Court of Justice in Karlsruhe confirmed earlier lower court ruling prohibiting Germany’s largest publisher Axel Springer Verlag to acquire the ProSiebenSat.1 television group.

    In 2005 the publisher wanted to buy a controlling interest in the private broadcaster, one of the two major commercial group of channels. However, the German monopoly commission (Bundeskartellamt) stopped the acquisition on the grounds that such a take-over would yield too much power to Springer.

    Following the rejection, the publisher started legal proceeding and in 2008, a Dusseldorf court said that the country’s two major private broadcasters, ProSiebenSat.1 and Bertelsmann’s RTL Group already had a dominant position in the market for television advertising, so even a small addition might hinder competition.

    “The analysis of the Dusseldorf court that the planned takeover would have boosted the dominant market position” of these companies “in the television advertising market stood the test of legal scrutiny,” the Karlsruhe Court said in a statement. Sp[ringer Verlag had planned a new bid for the broadcasting group, should the higher Court have rejected the lower Court’s judgement.

    ProSiebenSat.1 owns and operates the major free-to-air advertising supported channels ProSieben, Sat.1, Kabel 1 and N24; the group is now majority owned by investment firms KKR and Permira. Axel Springer Verlag is the country’s largest newspaper and magazine publisher with titles including the tabloid Bild, the up-market newspaper Die Welt and the weekly TV Guide Hoer Zu.
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