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German regulator reportedly to extend joint-venture probe

The German Federal Cartel Office plans to extend its probe into plans by broadcasters ProSiebenSat.1 and RTL Group to develop a joint online TV service until the end of January, according to local reports.

Weekly magazine WirtschaftsWoche, without citing sources, has reported that the regulator has extended the deadline for the investigation until January 26 in order to carry out an in-depth probe on the plan.

In August the two companies applied to the EC for approval to launch a service that would offer content online for seven days after its initial broadcast. The platform is intended to enable providers to make content, including series, films, shows or news broadcasts, available online via a central, web-based offering. Internet users will be able to retrieve content free of charge seven days after TV transmission, while individual TV channels will continue to be responsible for marketing the content.