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Competition Office OKs Axel Springer-Ringier union

Parliament

Hungary's Competition Office (GVH) said it approved a merger of the Hungarian businesses of media giants Axel Springer and Ringier. "No competition problems could be identified" with the merger, GVH said.

It added that the market players it had asked also did not express any real concerns about the merger. The Media Council of Hungary's National Media and Infocommunications Authority (NMHH) gave preliminary approval for the merger in May.

Axel Springer and Ringier withdrew a request for approval from the GVH to consolidate their holdings in Hungary in the spring of 2011 because the merger was opposed by the Media Council, whose decision is binding for the antitrust authority. Since that time, the companies have taken steps to part with some assets in their Hungarian portfolios to comply with competition requirements.

In January, they announced the sale of broadsheet Népszabadság, business daily Világgazdaság, sports daily Nemzeti Sport and eight regional dailies to Vienna Capital Partners.

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