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JP/Politiken withdraws merger with Børsen

24. januar 2017

JP/Politikens Hus A/S has dropped its proposed merger with Dagbladet Børsen. Consequently, the Danish Competition Council stops the review of the merger notification. The Danish Competition and Consumer Authority has expressed serious concerns about the merger. If the merging parties cannot accommodate competition concerns by offering appropriate commitments, the merger shall be prohibited.

The merging parties have decided to withdraw their merger notification. Therefore, the Danish Competition Council (DCC) has not reached a formal decision in the case.

However, the Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (DCCA) has expressed serious concerns about the proposed merger between JP/Politiken and Dagbladet Børsen. According to the regulation on merger control, a merger that will not significantly impede effective competition shall be approved, while a merger that will significantly impede effective competition shall be prohibited.

The DCCA’s analyses showed that the merger would have significantly impeded effective competition on eight different markets, including:

  • Danish, national, paid for, daily newspapers on paper (incl. e-newspaper/pdf-newspaper) in Denmark
  • Danish, national, paid for, daily newspapers online in Denmark
  • Advertising in Danish, national, daily publications on paper in Denmark

The remaining markets cover, among others, the market for rights to news articles in Denmark and the market for distribution of newspapers on Sjælland.

On 26 July 2016 the DCCA received a complete notification of the proposed merger. Therefore, the DCC’s deadline for a decision in the case was on 4 January 2017. The DCC was ready to make a decision within the deadline.

JP/Politiken and Børsen received a draft decision on 24 November 2016. In response to the draft decision the merging parties proposed various commitments. When the parties proposed commitments on 3 January 2017 it was decided to prolong the deadline for the merger review to 31 January 2017. It was the assessment that the commitments would not accommodate the competition concerns raised by the merger.

The DCCA’s analyses showed that a merger between JP/Politiken and Børsen would have strengthened JP/Politiken’s position in various markets. A strengthened position could be used to, for example, increase prices or reduce the variety of supply to the expense of newspaper subscribers and advertisers.

The review of the proposed merger has involved some of the most comprehensive investigations and calculations in a Danish merger case, among others in order to reach a precise and correct definition of the relevant markets. The role of companies like Facebook and Google was a part of the investigation, including the fact that these companies do not produce news articles themselves.

JP/Politiken is the largest privately owned media company in Denmark. It publishes three national newspapers: Ekstra Bladet, Jyllands-Posten and Politiken. Børsen publishes the newspaper Dagbladet Børsen as well as Dagens Medicin and the magazine Penge og Privatøkonomi. JP/Politiken also has activities related to, among others, distribution of newspapers and printing of newspapers.

For further information please contact Head of Communication in the DCCA, Hanne Arentoft on telephone + 45 41 71 50 98.

Last updated: 24. januar 2017