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IRIS 2019-9:1/13

Germany

Cartel authority approves ProSiebenSat.1 and RTL addressable TV and online video joint venture

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Jan Henrich

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

The RTL Deutschland media group and ProSiebenSat.1 have established a joint demand-side platform known as ‘d-force’. Demand-side platforms (DSPs) enable advertisers, on a central platform, to buy advertising space for specific target groups on various channels, which is then placed in an automated algorithm-based system. They are the counterpart of so-called sell-side platforms (SSPs), which manage the sale of individual advertising spaces.

Both TV groups announced at the beginning of August that the German Bundeskartellamt (Federal Cartel Office) had approved their joint venture. In future, advertising customers will therefore be able to reach their target groups through addressable TV and online video more easily via the joint booking platform. The two media giants hope this will give them greater independence from global tech platforms.

The Cartel Office confirmed its decision in its list of current merger control proceedings. Its investigation focused on conditions in the various markets concerned by the merger and the practical effects the merger would have on competition. It generally begins the evaluation process, which lasts about one month, once it has received the full application documents. As long as the proposal does not appear problematic, the decision-making body informally approves the merger.

ProSiebenSat.1 and the RTL Deutschland media group each own 50% of d-force. They predict that by 2022, the addressable TV and online video market in Germany will be worth several billion euros. Around 18 million TVs in German-speaking countries are currently compatible with addressable TV and personalised advertising. Via the joint platform, advertisers will be able to book space across the entire portfolio of IP Deutschland and SevenOne Media, the marketing companies of RTL Television and the ProSieben Sat.1 group, respectively.

The project will also be open to additional partners. At an event at the end of June, Matthias Dang, CEO of IP Deutschland, said that Google would be invited to get involved.

References
Pressemitteilung der Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland, 07. August 2019 DE
 http://merlin.obs.coe.int/redirect.php?id=19659
 
  RTL Deutschland media group press release, 07 August 2019    
Liste der laufenden Fusionskontrollverfahren des Bundeskartellamts DE
 http://merlin.obs.coe.int/redirect.php?id=19660
 
  List of current merger control proceedings of the Federal Cartels Office