Regulator shoots down RTL-Talpa merger plans
The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) has shot down the plans of media companies RTL and Talpa to merge. According to the ACM, the media companies did not provide adequate steps to prevent them from gaining market dominance.
The ACM will, therefore, not grant a license for the acquisition. According to the ACM, the acquisition will create “an excessively powerful party in the commercial media landscape.”
Talpa and RTL Nederland announced their merger plans in June 2021. The move would put TV channels RTL 4, RTL 5, RTL 7, RTL Z, SBS6, Net5, Veronica, and SBS9, and radio stations Sky Radio, Veronica, 538, and Radio10 under one owner, according to ANP. The media companies said they wanted to create a strong front in the advertising market against large tech companies like Google and Facebook-parent Meta.
But according to the ACM, the merger would ultimately be bad for consumers. The merged companies’ dominant position “will lead to price increases for advertisers and for telecom providers who pass on the channels. Ultimately, the consumer will foot the bill,” the regulator said.