Court Slams Door on German 'Hulu' - ProSieben and RTL Lose Case for Catchup TV Service

written by: Richard Kastelein

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Dow Jones is reporting that Germany's Federal Cartel Office has ruled against commercial broadcasters ProSiebenSat.1 Media AG (PSM.XE) and RTL Television's plan to launch an online video platform, confirming an earlier decision by the German antitrust authority.

In March 2011, the Federal Cartel Office barred the two companies from jointly launching an online video platform. The new venture would have strenghthened the duopoly in the television advertising sector, the cartel office said at the time.

The companies don't have the right to appeal the decision at the constitutional court, the country's highest court, but the companies may contest this, the cartel office said Wednesday.

According to Digital TV Europe a group of producers and distributors from the German TV and movie business are pushing ahead with Germany’s Gold, a new venture that will launch a video-on-demand service using the partners’ content.

Seventeen companies are involved in the service, which will be based in Berlin, including Beta Film, ZDF, MME Moviement and Studio Hamburg.

Hulu has been tipped to launch a service in Germany. So far, its only international roll out has been in Japan. Netflix is also expanding in Europe and Lovefilm already has a service in Germany.



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