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German media group ProSiebenSat.1 and publisher Axel Springer are reportedly in merger discussions. If the talks continue, it could lead to a united operation worth around €14.5 billion.
The Wall Street Journal broke the news late on Monday, saying that any final conclusion would need regulatory and anti-trust approvals, and which might be tough to achieve.
Springer has long had Pro7Sat.1 in its sights, and mounted a take-over pitch some 10 years ago. but it failed following tough opposition from Germany’s media regulator. However, in 2014 Germany’s Federal Administrative Court overruled the regulator and today’s more competitive TV and media market would make life a little easier for the pair.
Pro7Sat.1 and its channels enjoy a 29 per cent market share of Germany free-to-air broadcast market (during Q1 this year). Springer bought all-news channel N24 last year from ProSeiben.