German Competition Authority

07/06/2020 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 07/06/2020 02:41

Parship and Elite Partner can acquire Lovoo

Date of issue:06.07.2020

The Bundeskartellamthas cleared the planned acquisition of The Meet Group Inc., USA, by the ProSiebenSat.1group. Since 2016 the portfolio of the ProSieben Sat.1group has included the online dating platforms Parship and Elite Partner. The Meet Group operates a number of online dating platforms worldwide and is active on the German market with its Lovoo online dating platform.

Andreas Mundt, President of the Bundeskartellamt: 'We do not expect to see a considerable impairment of competition in the online dating market as a result of the acquisition despite the parties' market power. The acquisition will lead to further concentration in the online dating sector, the participants are among the largest online dating platforms in Germany. The online dating market, however, is charac-terised by dynamic growth, market entries and competition. Most recently the da-ting app segment, to which the competing platforms Tinder and Badoo also belong besides the target company Lovoo, has seen a particularly strong development.'

There will be sufficient alternatives by other providers on the online dating market after the acquisition. Besides the parties to the acquisition, especially the Match Group with its platforms Tinder, Lovescout24, OKCupid, and Zweisam.deis an important competitor.

As users often use several dating platforms at the same time and new customer business is of great significance for online dating platforms, market entry is compa-rably easy. This is illustrated by the new market entries of platforms like Bumble or LemonSwan and market share gains of mobile online dating platforms like Tinder. Another factor to be considered in the competitive assessment the planned launch of Facebook Dating in Europe.

Lastly the strong position of ProSiebenSat.1on the TV advertising market is not ex-pected to impede competition either. The investigations have revealed that the significance of TV advertising is decreasing, especially when it comes to reaching younger user groups.

After extensive investigations the acquisition project could thus be cleared in the first phase of the assessment, which was legally extended to 2 months due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

See also clearance of the Parship/Elitepartnermerger, press release of 22 October 2015.

Press release (pdf)