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Bertelsmann CEO calls for European media groups to be allowed to consolidate

Thomas Rabe wants regulators to allow "national TV champions" to take on the streaming services

Thomas Rabe, chief executive of Bertelsmann, has called on regulators to allow European media companies to pursue mergers and partnerships if they are to take on the streaming giants.

“There is a strong case and a need for consolidation,” Rabe told the Financial Times. “I’m convinced that partnerships are more important than ever, especially after the coronavirus, which hurt European TV broadcasters and has helped the US streaming platforms.”

“We should be allowed to create national TV champions,” added Rabe, stating that RTL, owned by Bertelsman, is “open-minded to exploring such possibilities” in the markets where it operates, such as Luxembourg, Germany, France, the Netherlands and Spain.

It’s not the first time Rabe has spoken of possible consolidation between European broadcasters. Last year he called for a merger between RTL and ProSiebenSat.1, again citing the competition from the streaming companies.