FUNKE MEDIENGRUPPE / Axel Springer SE: The Federal Cartel Office announces the results of its preliminary assessment of the application for the transfer of the program guides




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24.02.14

FUNKE MEDIENGRUPPE / Axel Springer SE: The Federal Cartel Office announces the results of its preliminary assessment of the application for the transfer of the program guides

To press release overview

On 24 February 2014, the Federal Cartel Office delivered its preliminary assessment under competition law in relation to the proposed transfer of the Axel Springer SE program guides to FUNKE MEDIENGRUPPE (FMG), thereby granting both companies a fair hearing. In its letter, the Office comes to the preliminary conclusion that according to the current state of affairs, the original application for the complete transfer of the program guides sold to FMG cannot be approved for antitrust reasons without the imposition of conditions. The constraints offered were not considered sufficient for approval.

In the course of the second phase, which has been running for some time, FMG and the Federal Cartel Office have been examining how requirements for authorization can be met. In this context, the possible resale of a number of titles from the program guide portfolio of FMG and Axel Springer is also being discussed. It is envisaged that further talks will now be conducted between the Cartel Office and the applicants aimed at improving the offer.

In July 2013, FUNKE MEDIENGRUPPE entered into an agreement with Axel Springer SE to take over its regional newspapers, along with the program guides and women's magazines. An additional agreement was made to create a joint venture for marketing and distribution. The Federal Cartel Office granted approval with regard to the sale of the regional newspapers and women's magazines at the end of 2013. The sale of the regional newspapers, as well as the program guides and women's magazines is uniformly completed when all the necessary antitrust approvals have been obtained. The applicants expect that these approvals can be obtained in the first half of 2014.

Press contacts:
Axel Springer SE
Tobias Fröhlich
Deputy Corporate Spokesperson
Tel: +49 30 25 91-7 76 20
tobias.froehlich@axelspringer.de
 
FUNKE MEDIENGRUPPE GmbH & Co. KGaA
Dr. Tobias Korenke
Head of Corporate Communications
Tel: +49 201 804-8860
presse@funkemedien.de