Competition

Germany’s Gold: ZDF and ARD cancel plans for joint project

Germany’s public broadcasters ZDF and ARD have decided to end a joint project aimed at creating a shared video-on-demand platform. The decision comes after the German Federal Cartel Office expressed concerns about compliance of the project with German competition law.

Germany's Gold: ZDF and ARD cancel plans for joint project © Martin Schumann - Fotolia.com

Germany’s Gold: ZDF and ARD cancel plans for joint project © Martin Schumann – Fotolia.com

Germany’s Gold ended

Germany’s public broadcasters, ZDF and ARD have decided to cancel plans for a joint video-on-demand platform called Germany’s Gold.

ZDF director, Thomas Bellut, recently questioned the viability of the project at the International Media Convention in Berlin.

The comments came after the German Federal Cartel Office (Bundeskartellamt) expressed concerns in March 2013 that the joint video-on-demand platform would breach German competition law.

The Bundeskartellamt feared that a joint platform would result in prices for video content being co-ordinated between the two broadcasters. This would have blurred the distinct market competition between the two.

The Bundeskartellamt had suggested a number of possible solutions, including restricting the project to a joint technical exercise. However, the public broadcasters reached the conclusion that such a solution would bring no commercial benefit.

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Christian Solmecke is a partner at the law firm WILDE BEUGER SOLMECKE. He is the author of numerous legal publications in the area of internet and IT law. He is also an associate lecturer for social media law at the Cologne University of Applied Sciences.

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