Bertelsmann CEO Thomas Rabe has called for the merger of RTL with its rival ProSiebenSat.1, in order for the German companies to compete with the American streaming giants.
Bertelsmann currently owns 75 per cent of RTL shares. Meanwhile Italian broadcaster Mediaset took a 15.1 per cent stake in ProSiebenSat.1 last year.
“It is vital that sensible partnerships, and even large mergers, are allowed in order to create national champions in television – for example between RTL and ProSiebenSat.1,” Rabe told Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung. “Otherwise, national companies will simply have no chance in a few years against the giants from Silicon Valley.
“Competition law does not take into account the forms in which the US platforms are increasingly coming to dominate media and advertising,” he added.
ProSieben responded to Rabe’s comments: “No talks are taking place at the moment on mergers or acquisitions.”