Berlusconi before ProSiebenSat.1 takeover?
Cartel Office report causes a stir
Created: 12/19/2022 5:11 am
By: Richard Strobl
Silvio Berlusconi could be about to take over ProSiebenSat.1.
(Archive image) © IMAGO/Fabrizio Corradetti / ipa-agency
Is Silvio Berlusconi about to actually take over the Munich TV giant ProSiebenSat.1?
That suggests a letter - but the matter is probably more complicated.
Milan/Munich - is Italy's former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi actually about to take over the Munich TV company ProSiebenSat.1?
According to an official report from Austria, at least rumors are circulating about this.
One thing is certain: the Austrian antitrust authority reports that Berlusconi's media holding MFE submitted an application on December 13 for the "acquisition of de facto sole control of ProSiebenSat.1 Media SE, Germany".
That sounds like big steps.
But the case is probably not that simple.
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Eddy after report from Austria
The history includes the fact that MFE has held almost a quarter of the shares in ProSiebenSat.1 for a long time.
Berlusconi has also been aiming for a takeover for some time.
Bavaria's Prime Minister Markus Söder had already expressed concern about this in October and described a possible "takeover of power" by the Italians at Germany's largest private broadcasting group as a "catastrophe".
The TV broadcaster had always rejected a takeover by Berlusconi.
Is the report from Austria about the merger report now proof of the about-face?
Most recently, the major shareholder MFE had increased its stake in ProSieben to almost 29 percent.
Most of the station's shares are in free float.
In addition, there is an ongoing dispute between ProSiebenSat.1 and the major shareholder MFE about the strategy of the TV station.
Berlusconi's company wants a change of course, according to the ORF.
ProSiebenSat.1 declined to comment on Sunday.
However, Reuters reports, citing an industry insider, that Berlusconi is probably not aiming for control of ProSiebenSat.1.
It was only a technical process that led to the report to Austria's antitrust authorities.