The German news agency dapd has filed for insolvency protection. The agency has been struggling ever since it was founded three years ago.
The German news agency companies "dapd nachrichtenagentur GmbH" and "dapd nachrichten GmbH" said on Tuesday that they can no longer perform payments and filed for self-administered insolvency.
The group announced in Berlin that six further dapd companies were to make similar filings on Thursday.
The holding company's chief executive, Martin Vorderwuelbecke, said in a statement that Germany's insolvency laws "offer an opportunity that we will jointly take advantage of to find a sustainable solution for the companies and the employees."
Administrator spokeswoman Brigitte von Haacke said the insolvency covers the news agency's eight divisions and its 299 employees. She said the parent company, "dapd media holding AG," and 18 of its other businesses and their 215 workers were not affected.
Von Haacke said the news agency had been losing money since its foundation and that the parent company had now stopped trying to plug its shortfalls.
dapd, a competitor of the Germany's biggest news agency, dpa, resulted from the merger in 2009 of the German news agency ddp and the former German service of the US news agency Associated Press (AP).
Competition between news agencies in Germany is extremely high, with Reuters and AFP also vying for a share of the market with their German-language services.
tj/sej (dpa, AP)