Germany’s Gold, the joint online platform backed by PSBs ARD and ZDF, has been put on ice following the intervention of the country’s Federal Cartel Office.
“ARD and ZDF could provide no antitrust compliant approach to the operation of the online video platform,” explained Bundeskartellamt President Andreas Mundt. “The operation of an open marketplace on the basis of a technical platform would have been possible. This would have also met the requirements for the inclusion of others including RTL and ProSiebenSat.1. But the plans of ARD and ZDF saw collusion on prices and certain exclusivity agreements, we could not accept.”
The two public broadcasters had channeled Germany’s Gold through their commercial subsidiaries, bringing in a further 11 companies, including those from the manufacturing sector.
The Federal Cartel Office had concerns with the proposed business because of the exclusivity arrangements and fears that other platforms would be shut out of the broadcasters’ content.
Consequently the Bundeskartellamt called on the company to make the licence fee funded productions available to alternative platforms.