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IRIS 2018-8:1/17

Germany

Federal Cartels Office approves ProSiebenSat.1 and Discovery streaming platform

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Tobias Raab

Institute of European Media Law (EMR), Saarbrücken/Brussels

In a decision of 23 July 2018, the Bundeskartellamt (Federal Cartels Office) approved the joint plan of ProSiebenSat.1 Media SE and Discovery Communications to expand the video platform 7TV with the video streaming services “Maxdome” and “Eurosport-Player”.

The platform, which was set up by ProSiebenSat.1 Media SE and Discovery Communications with the Cartels Office’s approval in 2017, currently offers users video-on-demand services that are financed through advertising and live streaming of TV programmes broadcast by its parent companies. The Bundeskartellamt does not think the addition of Pro7’s “Maxdome” and “Eurosport-Player”, which is owned by Discovery Communications, will create a dominant market position, and therefore gave the joint venture the green light. It was true that “Maxdome” was well known for offering a large range of videos and that “Eurosport-Player” had raised its profile by acquiring the exclusive broadcasting rights for some football Bundesliga matches, which it had been showing since August 2017. However, this was not sufficient to create a dominant market position, since the pay video-on-demand market was expanding fast, with competitors including Netflix, Sky, Amazon, iTunes and public broadcasting services.

When examining the merger application, the Bundeskartellamt only considered the parties’ plans to expand their services through the addition of their own existing activities. It therefore noted that, if 7TV wished to add further content or cooperation partners in future, the project would need to be re-examined, taking account of the current market situation and the specific cooperation structure.

References
Pressemitteilung des Bundeskartellamts vom 23. Juli 2018 DE
 http://merlin.obs.coe.int/redirect.php?id=19225
 
  Federal Cartels Office press release, 23 July 2018