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Last Updated: Friday, 18 November 2005, 19:53 GMT
Springer deal faces fresh hurdles
ProseibenSat1.Media head office in Munich
Acquiring ProSiebenSat.1 would make Axel Springer into a giant
German antitrust authorities have objected to plans by newspaper group Axel Springer to acquire the country's biggest broadcaster ProSiebenSat.1.

The deal would have made Axel Springer the number two in Germany's media market, behind media group Bertelsmann.

But the German Cartel Office objected, arguing it could lead to competition between "two symmetrical companies" in the TV advertising market.

The concern is that competition between the two giants would be ineffective.

Giant media firms

Axel Springer agreed in August to pay 2.47bn euros ($2.9bn; 1.7bn) for the broadcaster.

At the time, Axel Springer chief executive Mathias Doepfner said: "ProSiebenSat.1 is an investment that will pay off".

"We are investing in a business that is profitable even in difficult times. We are creating a structure to open up the digital business of the future."

Axel Springer owns the tabloid Bild newspaper, while ProSiebenSat.1 has four TV channels and a show-list that includes the popular US-made Desperate Housewives.

TV and publishing giant Bertelsmann owns the RTL television business, the world's largest book publisher Random House, and the giant magazine publisher Gruner + Jahr.

It also owns BMG, the umbrella of Sony BMG Music Entertainment and BMG Music.

Springer buys top German TV firm
05 Aug 05 |  Business

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