RTL Group has dropped plans to merge its Netherlands-based TV operations, RTL Nederland, with Talpa Networks, the company has announced.
RTL Group said it took the decision after being informed by the Dutch competition authority that it would not approve the deal.
In a statement, the company said both parties had fully cooperated with ACM during its review. of the planned merger, with both making proposals to address and mitigate the concerns raised by ACM regarding the position of the combined group in the Dutch TV advertising market. ]
“However, ACM has now indicated to RTL Group and Talpa Network that the market test did not sufficiently mitigate its concerns,” added the statement.
“RTL Group and Talpa Network regret that ACM did not take into account the speed and extent of the changes in the Dutch media landscape and the impact of these changes on local media companies,” they added.
Thomas Rabe, CEO of RTL Group, said: “RTL Nederland is and will remain a key asset for RTL Group – it is highly profitable with a strong family of channels which scored excellent audience ratings and financial results in 2022. Under the leadership of CEO Sven Sauvé, RTL Nederland has built Videoland, one of the most successful European streaming services. Together with our excellent local management team, we will continue to grow RTL Nederland across TV, streaming and digital.
“We remain convinced that market consolidation is necessary to compete with the global tech platforms – and that market consolidation will happen in the European TV markets sooner or later.”
The two companies first announced plans for the merger in June 2021, with plans for Talpa to take a 30 per cent stake in RTL Nederland while also contributing assets from its TV, radio, print, digital and ecommerce divisions. RTL Group was to hold the remaining 70 per cent.