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Media industry

The media industry comprises all companies engaged in the development, production and marketing of media contents for information and entertainment purposes.

This sector is characterised by a number of large vertically integrated groups active in various types of media as well as numerous small and medium-sized providers specialising in individual services or topics. Important areas of the media industry are print, audio-visual and online. The media industry is a branch of the broader culture and entertainment industry.

Financing through advertising in the media

Advertising is an important generator of turnover for all types of media. Numerous business models are to some or even to the full extent based on the incorporation of advertising messages. This very form of financing is a specific feature of private radio and television programmes in Germany. With only a few exceptions, viewers are provided with content free of charge, financed through classic commercial breaks. The press is, as a rule, financed in equal shares by advertising and sales fees. Consequently, the media industry is closely linked to the advertising market.

In 2012, revenue in the German television market amounted to approx. 13 billion euro. In net advertising turnover by media category, TV-advertising held a top position in Germany in 2012, achieving an annual turnover of approx. 4 billion euro in total. Daily newspapers were at approx. 3.2 billion and magazines at approx. 1.2 billion euro followed in rank order.

Scope of control

The Bundeskartellamt protects competition in the media sector on all levels. With its merger control work in the newspaper and magazine market, it contributes to the diversity of the press in Germany. In the same way, the Bundeskartellamt checks mergers in the audio-visual field for their compatibility with competition law. On the one hand, this ensures free competition of ideas among the various providers of mass media and on the other hand maintains competition in the advertising market. To an increasing extent the Bundeskartellamt monitors online offers like video-on-demand platforms and news portals. The online market is currently experiencing a phase of dynamic growth, partly impacting on traditional markets. The task pursued by the Bundeskartellamt here is to protect opportunities for competition inherent in these dynamics and to prevent the transfer of old structures to this new world.


Joint selling of media rights for the games of the 1st and 2nd German football leagues (Bundesliga) from the 2013/2014 season onwards
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Prohibition of launch of joint venture between RTL interactive GmbH and ProSiebenSat.1 Media AG in the video-on-demand sector (2011)
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Clearance of the acquisition of Barsortiment Könemann by Libri (2012)
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Clearance of acquisition of publishing business of daily "Frankfurter Rundschau" by Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung GmbH and others (2013)
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