Breaking News
Ad-Free Version. Upgrade your experience. Save up to 40% More details

Regulators should allow RTL and ProSieben to merge: Rabe

Stock MarketsFeb 16, 2020 11:43AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
2/2 © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: German media group Bertelsmann CEO Rabe poses for the media prior to annual news conference Berlin 2/2

By Douglas Busvine

BERLIN (Reuters) - The head of publisher Bertelsmann (F:BTGGg) said its TV arm RTL (DE:RRTL) should be allowed to merge with German rival ProSiebenSat.1 (DE:PSMGn), to give them a fighting chance against U.S. streaming giants.

Thomas Rabe's comments - in an interview with Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung published on Sunday - come as European broadcasters explore ways to join forces against the onslaught from established players Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) and Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) Prime that are now being joined by Disney and Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL).

"It is vital that sensible partnerships, and even large mergers, are allowed in order to create national champions in television - for example between RTL and ProSiebenSat.1," Rabe said.

"Otherwise, national companies will simply have no chance in a few years against the giants from Silicon Valley," added the Bertelsmann boss, who took personal charge over its largest unit RTL last year.

ProSieben has become the focus of takeover speculation after Italy's Mediaset (MI:MS) amassed a 15.1% stake in the Munich-based broadcaster towards the end of last year.

Mediaset, run by the son of former premier Silvio Berlusconi, has described its ProSieben stake as defensive. At the same time it is trying to persuade ProSieben CEO Max Conze to join a pan-European broadcasting alliance it is setting up.

Conze has so far resisted Mediaset's overtures, preferring to search for ways to cooperate on individual projects.

Reacting to Rabe's comments, ProSieben said: "No talks are taking place at the moment on mergers or acquisitions."

In a statement, ProSieben highlighted work on its adtech joint venture with RTL, called d-force, and repeated its earlier invitation to RTL to sign up to Joyn, its streaming venture with U.S. partner Discovery Inc (O:DISCA).

Rabe, in his FAS interview, said it was vital to deregulate the European TV industry because the rules governing it predate the creation of platforms such as YouTube, Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) and Netflix.

"Competition law does not take into account the forms in which the U.S. platforms are increasingly coming to dominate the media and advertising," he said.

Although he was wearing two hats as the boss of both Bertelsmann and RTL, Rabe said that did not signify the parent company would increase its 75% stake in the TV unit, nor would it seek a delisting.

"RTL Group is and will remain an independent business," he said.

Regulators should allow RTL and ProSieben to merge: Rabe

Related Articles

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with other users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind:  

  •            Enrich the conversation, don’t trash it.

  •           Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed. 

  •           Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically. Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user. Racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination will not be tolerated.

  • Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases. Comments that are written in all caps and contain excessive use of symbols will be removed.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and comments containing links will be removed. Phone numbers, email addresses, links to personal or business websites, Skype/Telegram/WhatsApp etc. addresses (including links to groups) will also be removed; self-promotional material or business-related solicitations or PR (ie, contact me for signals/advice etc.), and/or any other comment that contains personal contact specifcs or advertising will be removed as well. In addition, any of the above-mentioned violations may result in suspension of your account.
  • Doxxing. We do not allow any sharing of private or personal contact or other information about any individual or organization. This will result in immediate suspension of the commentor and his or her account.
  • Don’t monopolize the conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also strongly believe in giving everyone a chance to air their point of view. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at’s discretion.

Write your thoughts here
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
Post also to:
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.
Continue with Google
Sign up with Email