German Federal Cartel Office prohibits joint venture between
RTL and Pro7Sat1
According to a press release of 18 March 2011, the German
Federal Cartel Office has prohibited the plans of broadcasting
groups RTL and Pro7Sat1 to form a joint venture for the creation
and operation of an online video platform.
In its statement of objections of 23 February 2011, the Cartel
Office explained that the proposed transaction – as
initially notified – would strengthen the existing
dominant duopoly between the two broadcasting groups on the market
for TV advertising. Moreover, the Cartel Office expressed concerns
that the joint venture would lead to anti-competitive coordination
between the parent companies. The Cartel Office noted that it had
given careful consideration to the potential synergies created by a
new video-on-demand platform, but concluded that these benefits did
not outweigh the competitive harm resulting from the
RTL and Pro7Sat1 submitted comments on the Cartel Office's
statement of objections, but were unable to dispel the Office's
competition concerns and did not offer any commitments that
adequately addressed these concerns. The Cartel Office therefore
prohibited the proposed joint venture. This decision can still be
appealed by the parties.
AUSTRIA: According to a recent press release, the Austrian
Cartel Court imposed a fine of € 200,000 on a private
equity fund for failure to comply with commitments, such as
reporting and trustee obligations, imposed by a conditional merger
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