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Bundeskartellamt allows Ströer to acquire UAM Media Group

Date of issue: 16.10.2017

The Bundeskartellamt has cleared plans by the Ströer Group to acquire a majority shareholding in UAM Media Group GmbH, Hamburg.

Ströer is by far the largest company marketing outdoor advertising in Germany. UAM is active in advertising throughout Germany. The company places advertising formats, in particular in the catering sector, cinemas, universities, schools and fitness studios (so-called ambient advertising). UAM also markets digital advertising media at such locations. In addition, the company offers the opportunity to advertise on giant poster spaces in several German cities.

Andreas Mundt, President of the Bundeskartellamt: "As in other areas of the economy, we have also witnessed increasing digitalisation in the outdoor advertising sector. In the last few years new locations have been made available for indoor and outdoor advertising. Existing poster space has been reduced and is being transformed. The digital out-of-home segment is gaining in importance and is increasingly becoming the focus of advertisers. After very close examination we have cleared the project since the acquisition of UAM will not substantially strengthen Ströer's position in the market."

According to the authority's findings both UAM's digital advertising media and giant posters are part of a nationwide outdoor advertising market where Ströer and UAM directly compete with one another. However, the locations of the advertising screens marketed by UAM usually focus on specific target groups. The analogue and digital advertising media of the parties to the merger complement each other but are generally not directly interchangeable from a customer perspective. Ströer's relevant market position in the outdoor advertising sector will thus not be strengthened as a result of its acquisition of UAM. In addition, the terms of UAM's contracts with the providers of advertising locations are relatively short. This means that the market position held so far by UAM can still be challenged by other competitors. The same considerations apply to space for giant posters which are often put up only for a short time, especially on construction sites. Due to their special characteristics, these products are not in close competition to Ströer's other products. The authority cleared the merger also in consideration of the number of other competitors and alternative providers in the digital screens and giant poster segments.

Press release (pdf)

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