According to Germany's Axel Springer publishing company, the country's anti-trust office has qualms about allowing the media giant to acquire television broadcaster ProSiebenSat.1.
Springer feels that the anti-trust office is ready to stop the deal
The anti-trust office had notified Axel Springer that in its investigation so far, it is likely to reject the publishers' bid to buy TV broadcaster ProSiebenSat.1.
The office said that the television market would be compromised if the deal went through, because it would create a symmetry in size between Springer and media giant Bertelsmann, which owns the RTL network, quashing competition between the two.
In addition, Springer, publisher of among other things Germany's largest circulation daily, Bild, would increase the company's dominance in the newspaper and newspaper advertising markets.
"We are still confident that the merger will take place," a Springer spokeswoman said. The notice from anti-trust office comes in the midst of its investigation and was "nothing out of the ordinary." The company would now examine the office's concerns and find ways to solve the problems it had pinpointed.
Axel Springer bought ProSiebenSat.1 in August.
ProSieben, Sat.1 and RTL are the leaders among Germany's private TV stations.