German Cartel Office closes proceedings against IP Deutschland, for a fine.
Luxembourg, 5 October – The German Federal Cartel Office closes the proceedings against the advertising sales house IP Deutschland, against payment of a € 96 million fine.
After having conducted an industry-wide investigation of the German TV advertising market, the German Cartel Office concluded that the “Share Deals”, which were common business practice in the past between advertising sales houses and media agencies, represent a vertical anticompetitive practice.
In light of those concerns, IP Deutschland, a subsidiary of RTL Group’s RTL Television unit, has announced that it will not sign these deals any more. Instead, it has developed a new sales offer, which will be introduced to the market shortly.
To ensure planning reliability for the media agencies, advertisers and the RTL channels, IP Deutschland accepted the German Cartel Office’s proposal of a fast track settlement of the proceedings.
For the calculation of the fine, the German Cartel Office has, for the first time, applied new rules of the 7th amendment to the German Act against Restraints of Competition and the German Cartel Office’s setting of fines which result in a significant increase of fines.
RTL Group remains confident that it will increase both revenues and operating results for the fiscal year 2007, as announced in August. RTL Group will make the necessary provisions for the fine in 2007.
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About RTL Group
RTL Group is the leading European entertainment network, with interests in 39 television channels and 30 radio stations in ten countries and content production throughout the world. The television portfolio of Europe’s largest broadcaster includes RTL Television in Germany, M6 in France, Five in the UK, the RTL channels in the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Croatia and Hungary, Ren TV in Russia and Antena 3 in Spain. RTL Group’s flagship radio station is RTL in France, and it also owns or has interests in other stations in France, Germany, Belgium, Spain and Luxembourg. RTL Group's content production arm, FremantleMedia is one of the largest international producers outside the US. Each year, it produces more than 10,000 hours of programming in 22 countries.