German Competition Authority

09/15/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 09/15/2021 08:32

Bundeskartellamt clears acquisition of Kreis-Anzeiger newspaper by Ippen-Mediengruppe

Date of issue:15.09.2021

The Bundeskartellamthas cleared the proposed acquisition of all the shares in the publishing company Verlag Wetterau und Vogelsberg GmbH() by Mittelhessische Druck- und Verlagshauswhich is part of Ippen-Mediengruppe. Until now belonged to -Mediengruppeand publishes the regional subscription daily newspaper 'Kreis-Anzeiger' and the advertising newspaper 'Sonntag-Anzeiger'. Along with the advertising newspaper 'Neue Wochenpost für Oberhessen' which belongs to the Ippen group, these newspapers are mainly published in the eastern part of the Wetterau district.

Andreas Mundt, President of the Bundeskartellamt: 'The merger results in market share additions which are critical to competition in the newspaper supplement and advertising markets in the region. In this case, however, as the market volume in question is below the so-called minor market threshold, it is not possible for the Bundeskartellamt to prohibit the merger, irrespective of the project's actual effects on competition.'

Under the German Competition Act () the minor market threshold applies if the requirements for a prohibition are fulfilled exclusively on markets on which goods or commercial services have been offered for at least five years and which had a total domestic sales volume of less than 20 million euros in the last calendar year. In early 2020 the legislator raised the threshold from 15 million to 20 million euros.

Press release (pdf)