The Federal Cartel Office, Germany’s national competition regulator, has approved ProSieben’s proposed takeover of The Meet Group.
The regulators are not concerned about ProSieben’s current presence in the online dating industry. Through its arm NuCom Group, the broadcasting company currently holds stakes in Parship, Elite Partner and eharmony.
It’s believed that the popularity of Match Group brands in Europe, and Facebook’s impending entry, maintains enough competition throughout the local industry.
Andreas Mundt, the president of the Federal Cartel Office, said in a statement translated from German: “The market for online dating is characterized by dynamic growth, market entry and competition.
“Recently, the segment of dating apps in particular, which includes the target company Lovoo and the competing platforms Tinder or Badoo, has developed strongly.”
The enterprise value of the deal is believed to be in the region of $500 million and is expected to be closed in the second half of 2020, owing to stockholder approval.
However, a faction of The Meet Group’s investors filed a lawsuit in May, in an attempt to block the proposed takeover. The plaintiffs allege that the dating company’s board, who have already unanimously voted in favour of the deal, withheld valuable information regarding the takeover in order to maximise their personal profit.
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