Feds raid ProSiebenSat 1’s offices

Group accused of abusing position

BERLIN — German antitrust watchdogs Tuesday raided the offices of the ad sales divisions of the country’s main commercial broadcasters, ProSiebenSat 1 and RTL.

The Federal Cartel Office has accused the TV groups of abusing their dominant position in the TV market by agreeing on TV ads prices and by offering advertisers deep rebates that put smaller independent broadcasters at a severe disadvantage.

Specifically, regulators are looking at package rebates offered by ProSiebenSat 1’s SevenOne and RTL’s IP Deutschland to advertisers who agree to buy high quantities of commercial time slots — a practice smaller channels are unable to match, and whether the special offers are meant to sideline competition.

ProSiebenSat 1 has said its ad marketing practices do not violate federal cartel laws.

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