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Regulator blocks Germany’s Gold streaming service

Regulators have blocked the Germany’s Gold service that a group of German media companies had been prepping for launch.

The Bundeskartellamt saidf that launch of the service would have violated antitrust rules as there would have been collusion on pricing and exclusive programming deals.

It specifically highlighted the involvement of the commercial arms of German public broadcasters, which it said must be governed by the same rules in place for privately-held companies.

Last year a German court blocked plans by ProSiebenSat.1 and RTL to launch a catch-up TV service, dubbed Amazonas.

The commercial broadcasters had wanted to launch an online service with their own, and third-party content and unsuccessfully appealed a Bundeskartellamt ruling that the service would take too great a share of total advertising revenues.

Issuing its decision on Germany’s Gold, the antitrust office said it had concerns about the business model of the service because “it provided for the common online marketing videos for consideration, whose production was largely financed with fees with price fixing and certain exclusivity agreements”.

It added: “Moreover, it was feared that alternative platforms will receive no or only limited access to the videos.”

The companies joining forces for Gold included ZDF Enterprises, Beta Film, Brainpool, MME Moviement, Studio Hamburg and Telepool.