German court rules against joint launch of online video platform

Cartel office says venture would strengthen TV advertising duopoly.

A German regional higher court Wednesday ruled against commercial broadcasters ProSiebenSat.1 Media AG and RTL Television’s plan to launch an online video platform, Germany’s Federal Cartel Office said in a statement.
The ruling confirms an earlier decision by the German antitrust authority. In March 2011, the Federal Cartel Office barred the two companies from jointly launching an online video platform. The new venture would have strenghthened the duopoly in the television advertising sector, the cartel office said at the time.
The companies don’t have the right to appeal the decision at the constitutional court, the country’s highest court, but the companies may contest this, the cartel office said Wednesday.