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Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Media: RTL merger plans stopped in the Netherlands

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Streaming giants like Netflix create a lot of competition in the media business. The RTL Group wants to counter with mergers. But nothing will come of the group’s plans for the time being.

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The RTL Group has suffered another setback in its merger plans. The Dutch competition authority ACM does not want to approve the planned merger of RTL Nederland and Talpa Network, the listed group announced on Monday in Luxembourg. The reason given for the decision was that initial market tests had not sufficiently dispelled concerns. Accordingly, RTL stopped the merger process. The formal decision is expected in the coming weeks.

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RTL CEO Thomas Rabe originally wanted RTL Nederland and John de Mol’s media company Talpa Network to merge into one larger company so that it would become a stronger competitor to international streaming giants in the Netherlands. According to the announcement, the manager was convinced that the market would have to be consolidated sooner or later in order to be able to compete with global streaming giants such as Netflix.

It was only in September that the RTL Group, which belongs to Bertelsmann, rejected the plan to merge two private TV groups in France. The background was official requirements. Competition examiners had previously expressed concerns.

More recently there had been further setbacks for Bertelsmann in Gütersloh. In November it became known that the multi-billion takeover of the US book publisher Simon & Schuster had collapsed. The US government had successfully opposed the purchase with an antitrust lawsuit. Bertelsmann already owns the Penguin Random House group, which is one of the largest trade book publishers in the world. With the acquisition, they wanted to expand their own position in the USA.

press release

Source: Stern

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