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Bigger stake on CLT menu

Kirch Group also looks to increase Premiere stake

BERLIN — Despite the European Commission’s rejection of their proposed digital pay TV merger, media giants CLT-UFA and the Kirch Group are applying to antitrust authorities to raise their stakes in pay TV web Premiere.

Germany’s Federal Cartel Office said on Friday that Bertelsmann-affiliated CLT-UFA is seeking permission to increase its share in Premiere from 37.5% to 50%. Kirch has not yet submitted an application, but a representative for the group confirmed on Friday that Kirch also plans to up its stake in Premiere from 25% to 50%. German officials are expected to pass the case on to European Commission competition watchdogs.

In a merger proposal submitted to the EC late last year, Kirch and CLT-UFA were to fuse all their pay TV activities.

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