The German Federal Cartel Office gives guidance on the interpretation and application of the “failing company defence” while clearing a merger in the TV advertising sector (RTL / n-tv)

On 11 April 2006, the German Federal Cartel Office (FCO) unconditionally cleared the acquisition of shares in n-tv Nachrichtenfernsehen GmbH & Co. KG by RTL Television [1]. The case concerned the question whether a merger strengthening the collective dominant position of RTL and ProSiebenSat.1 Media AG on the national market for TV advertising can be justified by reason of applying the failing company defence. Facts RTL Television (RTL), a 100% subsidiary of the RTL Group, which in turn is controlled by Bertelsmann AG, is an international television and radio broadcaster. RTL operates 31 television transmitters and 30 radio stations in ten countries. The airtime of most of the television transmitters belonging to the RTL Group is merchandised by IP Deutschland GmbH (IP), a 100%

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Petra Linsmeier, Moritz Lichtenegger, The German Federal Cartel Office gives guidance on the interpretation and application of the “failing company defence” while clearing a merger in the TV advertising sector (RTL / n-tv), 11 April 2006, e-Competitions Bulletin April 2006, Art. N° 21348

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