German Competition Authority

07/28/2020 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 07/28/2020 03:32

Joint marketing of advertising space - Süddeutsche Zeitung and Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung can establish a joint venture, but the examination of the cooperation under[...]

Date of issue:28.07.2020

After examining the project under merger control law the Bundeskartellamthas cleared the formation of a joint venture set up by Süddeutsche Zeitungand Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitungfor the purpose of jointly marketing supra-regional advertising space. However, the authority's examination of the cooperation pursuant to the prohibition of anti-competitive agreements is still ongoing.

The joint venture is to take over the marketing activities of the publishing houses in the sector of supra-regional printed advertisements (attention-grabbing ads and classified ads) appearing in news print media. Apart from the national dailies published by the parties, weekly and Sunday newspapers as well as news magazines are to be included in the market concerned.

Andreas Mundt, President of the Bundeskartellamt: 'It is generally required, not only in this case, that the formation of a joint venture be examined under two different aspects. We have so far only been able to clear the planned cooperation under merger control rules. In this respect it was essential that the two publishing houses will still not be able to achieve a paramount market position in the sector of so-called attention-grabbing ads and that there will be strong competitive pressure from online suppliers in the sector of classified ads, job and real estate advertisements. For the purposes of the necessary examination of the cooperation pursuant to the general prohibition of anti-competitive agreements we are still awaiting the publishers' comments in order to be able to gain a more comprehensive picture, also with regard to possible benefits the cooperation could have for consumers.'

Press release (pdf)