The German press groups Axel Springer, Gruner+Jahr and Arvato are reportedly near an agreement on merging printing operations, according to the weekly news magazine Der Spiegel. In its Monday edition, the magazine said the resulting printing company would likely be based outside Germany to minimize labor and operation costs. It would control around a quarter of the German market for printing magazines and catalogues. The three press groups belong to the biggest media players in Germany. Gruner+Jahr is the biggest magazine publisher in Europe and together with Arvato is a subsidiary of the giant Bertelsmann media group. Axel Springer is one of Germany's largest press empires, publishing the daily mass-circulation Bild, and owns several eastern European publications. Der Spiegel said the planned merger was due to be submitted to the European Union's competition authorities in the coming weeks.