[DE] KEK approves Amazon streaming service
Institute of European Media Law
The Kommission zur Ermittlung der Konzentration im Medienbereich (Commission on Concentration in the Media – KEK) has no objections to the licensing of a linear television channel that Amazon Digital Germany GmbH plans to launch in Germany under the working title ‘Prime Video Live’. At its 256th meeting, it decided that diversity of opinion would not be harmed if the channel was granted a licence.
Amazon Digital Germany GmbH, which is affiliated to Amazon.com, Inc., applied to the Bayerische Landeszentrale für neue Medien (Bavarian new media authority – BLM) for a licence to broadcast a nationwide special-interest television channel under the working title ‘Prime Video Live’. The channel will broadcast top UEFA Champions League matches live from the 2021/22 season onwards.
Amazon is a global online mail order company that sells its own products as well as those of third parties, and offers video and music streaming services.
The licence application was submitted to the BLM on the basis of Articles 52, 53(1) and 53(2)(1) of the Medienstaatsvertrag (state media treaty – MStV), which require private broadcasters to hold a licence. Article 53 lays down special conditions that must be met in order to operate a channel at national level. Since Amazon Digital Germany GmbH, which applied for the licence, is based in Munich, the BLM is the regional media authority responsible for carrying out the licensing procedure under Article 104(1)(1) MStV. Licence applications for national channels must also be examined by the KEK which, according to Articles 104(2)(3), 105(1)(1)(5), 105(3) and 107 MStV, is responsible for the final assessment of matters relating to the diversity of opinion on national television. The KEK’s analysis suggested that diversity of opinion would be protected if a licence was granted to Prime Video Live because the new linear television channel did not cause any concern in relation to the media concentration law. In the KEK’s view, the channel would not give Amazon Digital Germany GmbH, which was fully owned by Amazon.com, Inc. via Amazon Europe Core S.à.r.l. and Amazon.com Sales, Inc., a dominant influence on public opinion in the television market.
- Pressemitteilung der KEK, 9. Februar 2021
- KEK press release, 9 February 2021
This article has been published in IRIS Legal Observations of the European Audiovisual Observatory.