Following the main examination proceedings, the Federal Cartel Office yesterday cleared the acquisition by FUNKE Mediengruppe (FMG) of the TV guides Hörzu, TV Digital, Funk Uhr, Bildwoche, and TV neu, previously published by Axel Springer group. A team led by Dr. Rainer Velte, partner at the Düsseldorf office of commercial law firm Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek, advised FUNKE Mediengruppe in the field of merger control and in antitrust law.
The clearance is granted subject to the condition that FMG is to sell the magazines Funk Uhr, Bildwoche, and TV neu as well as its own titles Die 2, Super TV, TV 4x7, TV 4 Wochen, and TV piccolino to an independent acquirer. On April 17, 2014, FMG entered into a purchasing contract with Klambt group of publishing houses on the transfer of these titles from FMG to Klambt.
The acquisition of the TV guides is connected with the acquisition of women's magazine BILD der Frau and regional dailies Berliner Morgenpost and Hamburger Abendblatt, which had already been cleared by the Federal Cartel Office in December 2013. Both the acquisition of the women's magazine and the TV guides as well as of the regional dailies and the divestiture of the appropriate titles to Klambt are to take place by April 30, 2014.
The acquisition of the magazines and newspapers by FMG had also been announced to the Austrian Federal Competition Authority and cleared in the meantime.
Counsel to Funke Media group:
Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek
Dr. Rainer Velte (Lead),
Beatrice Stange, LL.M.
Michael Vetter, LL.M. (all Antitrust Law), all Düsseldorf