German Cartel Office Fines ProSiebenSat.1, RTL for Encoding
12/28/2012| 06:40am US/Eastern
By Friedrich Geiger and Archibald Preuschat
FRANKFURT--Germany's anti-trust body said Friday it has fined ProSiebenSat.1 Media AG (>> ProSiebenSat.1 Media AG) and RTL Group SA (>> RTL GROUP) for anti-competitive collusion in encoding their television programs and charging additional fees.
The cartel office has fined the broadcasting groups and two "responsible persons" to pay fines totaling 55 million euros ($72.9 million) because of their encoding of TV programs in standard definition quality.
"The federal cartel office has found out that the two broadcasting groups agreed in the years 2005/2006 to broadcast their digital free TV programs in SD quality encrypted and demanded additional fees," said the president of the ani-trust body, Andreas Mundt.
The companies have agreed on a settlement and promised to broadcast their free TV programs in standard quality without encoding for at least ten years from 2013 on, said the cartel office.
ProSiebenSat.1 and RTL both confirmed the agreement and said they have already booked provisions for the fine. RTL stressed that they are still permitted to encode broadcasting in high-definition quality.
Write to Friedrich Geiger at firstname.lastname@example.org
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