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Bundeskartellamt clears takeover of J. Bauer publishing house by Ruhr Nachrichten Verlag

Christian Fernsby ▼ | September 11, 2020
The Bundeskartellamt has cleared plans by Ruhr Nachrichten Verlag & Co. KG (Lensing Media) to acquire all the shares in Verlag J. Bauer KG. Bauer publishes the newspaper Recklinghäuser Zeitung, which has six local editions (Marl, Herten, Oer-Erkenschwick, Datteln, Waltrop and Recklinghausen).
J. Bauer   Bundeskartellamt
The newspapers published by Lensing Media include Ruhr Nachrichten, Münsterland Zeitung, Dorstener Zeitung and Halterner Zeitung.

Topics: Bundeskartellamt J. Bauer Ruhr Nachrichten Verlag

The publishing houses that are parties to the merger project also publish advertising newspapers in their respective circulation areas and operate the local radio stations Radio Vest, Radio 91.2 and Antenne Unna.

Andreas Mundt, President of the Bundeskartellamt: “The merger project affects newspapers published in the neighbouring areas, but these do not compete for the same readers.

"The circulation areas of the advertising newspapers and the broadcasting areas of the affected local radio stations operated by the two publishing houses do not overlap, either. The merger does not impede competition either on the reader markets affected or regarding advertising customers’ options to choose a supplier.

In its merger control proceedings the Bundeskartellamt examines whether a merger will significantly impede competition on the markets affected. If newspaper publishers intend to merge, the authority usually examines the effects the merger will have on the reader markets and also on the advertising markets.

While it is part of merger control to examine whether readers still have alternative sources to choose from, the Bundeskartellamt cannot use diversity of opinion per se as an assessment criterion in its examination.