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Bundeskartellamt clears takeover of Mediengruppe Frankfurt by the Ippen Group

Date of issue: 05.03.2018

The Bundeskartellamt has cleared plans by the Ippen Group to acquire the Mediengruppe Frankfurt media group from the FAZIT foundation. Among the newspaper titles of Mediengruppe Frankfurt are the "Frankfurter Neue Presse" and "Frankfurter Rundschau". Ippen also plans to acquire the advertising newspaper "Mix am Mittwoch".

Andreas Mundt, President of the Bundeskartellamt: "The merger will bring about improvements for readers in the city of Frankfurt. With the three newspaper titles "Frankfurter Neue Presse", "Frankfurter Rundschau" and the regional edition of the "Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung" the FAZ Group in Frankfurt currently holds a monopoly position. After the merger "Frankfurter Neue Presse" and "Frankfurter Rundschau" will be in competition with the regional edition of the "Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung" and readers will be able to choose between two independent media groups.“

The Ippen Group publishes daily newspapers throughout the whole of Germany. The group also includes a large number of advertising publishers which publish advertising newspapers. The publishing group is headed by the publisher Dr Dirk Ippen. In southern Hesse the Ippen group publishes among others the "Offenbach-Post" and the "Wetterauer Zeitung". The main distribution areas of the "Frankfurter Rundschau" and "Frankfurter Neue Presse" are the city of Frankfurt, the Main-Taunus district, and the Upper Taunus and Limburg-Weilburg districts.

The merger affects a large number of advertising and reader markets in southern Hesse. The advertising markets affected are without exception so-called minor markets which, due to their low turnover, cannot by law be considered in a decision about whether to clear a merger. On the reader markets affected the merger creates overlaps in the city of Offenbach, the Offenbach district and in the Wetterau district. However this did not prevent the project from being cleared because the improvements on the reader market in the City of Frankfurt are significantly more important that any potential disadvantages caused by the merger in these districts.

Press release (pdf)

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