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Business

Regulator against Merger of Berlin Dailies

Germany's competition regulator has come out against a possible merger of two Berlin daily newspapers, the Tagesspiegel and the Berliner Zeitung. The publisher of the Tagesspiegel, Holtzbrinck, wants to buy the Berliner Zeitung and has appealed to the government for special dispensation to do so, a so-called ministerial concession. But according to regulators, who already came out against a proposed merger at the end of last year, Holtzbrinck’s takeover of the Berliner Zeitung would give it an unfair advantage in the Berlin newspaper market and hurt competition among regional newspapers. Holtzbrinck application for the dispensation will be argued at the Federal Economics Ministry on September 8. While law requires that regulators make a recommendation before any hearing, the ministry is not bound by it.