German Hulu remains prohibited

Jörn Krieger | 09-08-2012

Germany's two leading commercial TV groups, RTL and ProSiebenSat.1, are still not allowed to set up a joint online video portal modelled on successful US platform Hulu. The appeal court Oberlandesgericht Düsseldorf confirmed the decision by the cartel office Bundeskartellamt which prohibited the creation of the joint venture.

"The court's decision is an important signal for the protection of competition in the new media area," the cartel office's president Andreas Mundt said in Bonn. "The dynamics of these markets doesn't rule out that powerful companies try to safeguard their market position in established markets and to transfer it to new emerging markets."

The anti-trust authority blocked the plan in March 2012, arguing that it would further strengthen the market-dominating duopoly of the two broadcast groups in the TV advertising market. The expected coordination of commercial interests through the joint venture company would also have violated the interdiction of agreements limiting competition.

RTL and ProSiebenSat.1 lodged a complaint against the prohibition of their planned venture in April 2011. No complaint is possible against the Oberlandesgericht Düsseldorf's verdict, but the companies can submit a complaint against the non-permission of a complaint at the Federal Supreme Court Bundesgerichtshof.