German broadcaster ProSiebenSat1 and German publishing house Axel Springer have reportedly rekindled talks for a merger, seeking to consolidate their push into digital media. As Sonia Legg reports, the companies have a combined market value of €14.43bln.
All eyes have been on the Bild this week. But it's not just the headlines which are making news. The owner - German publishing house Axel Springer - is reportedly in merger talks with a national broadcaster ProSiebenSat 1 Both are trying to push into digital media. Together the group's market capitalisation is about 14 billion euros (14.43bln euros), with ProSieben accounting for around two thirds of that (9.8bln euros). Christ Beauchamp is a market analyst at IG. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CHRIS BEAUCHAMP, MARKET ANALYST, IG, SAYING: "It is an echo of what we have seen in the UK and the US - these big giants that need to find ways to creating new content to fight the likes of Amazon and Netfix which are catching up. Of course the size of it means competition is going to be a big issue." It's not the first time the two media giants have tried to join forces. A proposed merger 10 years ago was blocked by competition authorities and the media watchdog KEK. Oliver Roth is a market strategist in Frankfurt. (SOUNDBITE) (German) CAPITAL MARKETS STRATEGIST, OLIVER ROTH, SAYING: "It would create a giant, a second competitor to Bertelsmann, although in revenue terms it would be considerably smaller. Bertelsmann has revenues of about 60 billion euros Springer-ProSieben would only have 5.6 billion." Springer remains majority owned by Friede Springer - the widow of the company's founder. The company says she won't give up control but they didn't deny merger talks were taking place. Springer already has a foothold in German television - it bought N24 early last year which produces news programmes for several ProSieben channels. KEK has also since ruled that a merger would no longer be problematic.