German watchdogs eye Web concentration

World Brief

Reacting to growth in the Internet sector and to consolidation in the television sector, German media watchdogs plan to factor Web activities into future decision-making.

Ernst-Joachim Mestmacker, chairman of the Kommission zur Ermittlung der Konzentration im Medienbereich (KEK), said last week that the KEK is developing methods to weigh the influence of new technology so that it may take it into account when deciding if companies have overstepped the 30% maximum market share allowed by any one player.

Until now, the 30% figure has been based solely on the number of television viewers, but Mestmacker said that will change.

Announcement comes at a time when the country’s two leading media groups, Kirch and Bertelsmann, are busily increasing their hold on the television market. Both have recently unveiled big Internet plans.

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