Competition

German competition law: Germany’s Gold hangs in the balance

Plans to create a joint internet platform between ARD and ZDF called Germany’s Gold are hanging in the balance as head of ZDF Enterprises doubts the company’s willingness to yield to demands from Germany’s federal cartel office (Bundeskartellamt).

 © Benjamin-Duda-Fotolia

© Benjamin-Duda-Fotolia

The planned video-on-demand internet platform, Germany’s Gold, is a shared vision between ARD and ZDF. The Bundeskartellamt expressed its concern in March 2013 that the publicly funded companies would end up coordinating prices and content, causing a distortion of competition.

To avoid distorting competition, the Office had proposed that the companies reduce their cooperation to a purely technical platform. However head of ZDF Enterprises, Alexander Coridaß, has now spoken publicly for the first time telling industry magazine W&V that “our core interest is in marketing…we do not see ourselves in the role of an operator of a pure technical platform”.

The Bundeskartellamt is currently holding discussions with all the interested companies. Cordiaß signalled that whether or not Germany’s Gold will go ahead depends on the result of those discussions and the commercial feasibility of any proposed solutions.

Rafaela Wilde is a partner at the law firm WILDE BEUGER SOLMECKE.

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