Clearance of Merger between Immonet and Immowelt
In the first phase of merger control the Bundeskartellamt has cleared plans by Axel Springer SE, Berlin to acquire sole control of Immowelt AG, Nuremberg and the launch of a joint venture between Immowelt AG and Immonet GmbH, Hamburg. The parties concerned are the online real estate portals www.immowelt.de and www.immonet.de, whose activities are to be combined in the new joint venture.
The joint venture brings together the second and third largest real estate portals in Germany. Immobilien Scout GmbH, Berlin, with the real estate portal www.immobilienscout24.de will remain the market leader even after the merger.
Andreas Mundt, President of the Bundeskartellamt:
"Although it reduces the number of large real estate portals in Germany, the merger was not expected to significantly impede competition. The merger may also create an opportunity to increase competition vis-a-vis the market leader. Portal markets have network effects where it is important to have both sides of the market, in this case real estate providers and customers, on board at the same time. In portal markets the presence of a large number of smaller competitors tends to result in the market leader being chosen by both sides of the market, real estate providers and customers. With the merger customers will have another large portal."