German printing and publishing company

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Deutsche Druck- und Verlagsgesellschaft mbH (DDVG)

legal form GmbH
founding 1971
Seat Berlin , Hamburg
management Jens Berendsen, Matthias Linnekugel
Number of employees 415 (2010)
sales EUR 129.8 million (2010)
Branch media

The German printing and publishing mbH ( ddvg ), headquartered in Berlin and branch office in Hamburg is a media holding company of the German Social Democratic Party (SPD) . It is the holding company of the SPD company ownership and is 100% owned by the SPD. As a publishing group , the DDVG and its daily newspapers have a proportional total circulation of around 435,000 copies and a market share of 1.9% in the German daily newspaper market. It ranks 11th among the leading publishing groups in the German newspaper market in terms of total circulation.


The roots of the media participation of the SPD go back to the time of the German Empire . Since the SPD had little access to the newspapers published at that time - these were mostly liberal or nationally conservative and clearly distinguished themselves from the labor movement - and, on the other hand, an independent working-class culture also required its own media, the SPD or officials close to it founded numerous newspapers. The best-known newspaper is Vorwärts , which appears in Berlin , but there were also many other local newspapers. Newspapers were also founded in the Weimar Republic , with around 200 social democratic publishers at the top.

After the party assets of the SPD - and thus also its newspaper publishers - had been confiscated in the Third Reich , the social democratic publishing system was re-established after 1945. In some cases, publishers were returned to the SPD, in some cases newly founded, in other cases financial compensation was paid.

During the newspaper death of the 1960s and 1970s, many of the social democratic newspapers had to cease to appear. In many cases they merged with other non-social democratic local newspapers. This resulted in numerous minority stakes in publishing houses, which were bundled in the DDVG from 1971. From then on, the company also held the share capital of the party’s news agency , the Social Democratic Press Service GmbH .

In May 2004 the DDVG took over 90% of the printing and publishing house Frankfurt am Main, the publishing house of the Frankfurter Rundschau . The takeover attracted a lot of public attention, as it meant that one of the major national daily newspapers became the property of the SPD. Rival parties in particular were critical. On July 17, 2006, the DDVG sold 50% and one share in the printing and publishing house Frankfurt am Main to M. DuMont Schauberg . At the same time, the DDVG announced that it would hold the remaining 40% of the shares in the long term. After insolvency in 2013, the Rundschau was continued under the umbrella of the Frankfurter Societät , the FAZ Verlag and the Karl Gerold Foundation .

Today's role of the German printing and publishing company

As a publishing group , the DDVG and its daily newspapers have a proportional total circulation of around 435,000 copies and a market share of 1.9% in the German daily newspaper market. With one exception, it only holds minority shares in over 40 newspapers with a total circulation of approx. 2.2 million copies sold and a total circulation of all newspapers in Germany of 21.1 million in 2006. DDVG only holds shares in the publishing house of Neue Westfälische in Bielefeld a majority of the capital shares; up to the end of 2015 with indirectly 57.5% and since January 1, 2016 with 100%.

The annual surplus of DDVG in 2008 amounted to 15.5 million euros and in 2007 to 17.2 million euros, of which 11.4 million were distributed to the SPD as a shareholder.

The DDVG sees itself as a social democratic company. According to the company , its corporate philosophy is to contribute to the financial independence of the SPD through profit distributions and to maintain a lively medium-sized press landscape through its commitment in the regional daily newspaper segment.

According to its own statements, the DDVG avoids controlling influence and usually holds minority interests. The DDVG emphasizes that it is “committed to internal freedom of the press”.

Economic development

In recent years there has been an increasing deterioration in the economic situation of society. In the following table, it must be noted that only fully consolidated subsidiaries are included in the media holdings. In 2010, the associated companies generated sales of EUR 971.2 million and a profit of EUR 42.8 million.

2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
sales 138.184 138,884 142,628 155.315 129,848
of which media holdings 19,853 21,845 23,961 23,394 19,465 17,800 16,700
of which pressure 16,231 17,892 16,822 34,017 27,919
of which trade 93,640 90.014 92,777 88,666 72,737
of which tourism 4,639 5,231 5,226 5,329 5,681
of which service 3,821 3,862 3,842 3,909 4,046
Annual surplus 30,334 18,852 13,872 −5,462 −20,418 0.900 −14,100
Profit distribution 7,566 9,064 12,109 10,042 7,891 2,000
Equity 98,787 106,142 107.158 91,636 65,465 59,800 43,700

All figures in thousands of euros.


The SPD is often subject to public criticism for its large media participations. The Union parties accuse the SPD of hiding its holdings. In this way, the SPD would gain an impermissible competitive advantage and influence reporting on itself through media participation. In fact, the former SPD federal treasurer and general trustee of the DDVG, Inge Wettig-Danielmeier , said about the party's participation in the media:

“Even where we have 30 or 40 percent, nothing can usually happen without us. But we only reserve the right to influence the business plan and the composition of the management team. "

In the course of the takeover of the Frankfurter Rundschau by the DDVG, party politicians from the CDU and FDP demanded that the ownership structure of a newspaper should be shown in the imprint and that majority holdings of parties in media companies should be prohibited by law.

In August 2007, an exchange of letters from August 2005 between Inge Wettig-Danielmeier and the then editor-in-chief of the Frankfurter Rundschau, Wolfgang Storz , became known. In this, Wettig-Danielmeier complained about the FR's reporting on the Left Party and recommended that an article by Helga Grebing , member of the historical commission of the SPD party executive , be printed on the subject. Storz refused this with reference to editorial independence, Wettig-Danielmeier replied that Storz's refusal may be based “also on a misunderstanding about the editorial independence and management of an editorial office.” Storz was fired in May 2006, he himself sees the main reason in the conflict with Wettig-Danielmeier. Wettig-Danielmeier, on the other hand, emphasized that the termination was based on different perspectives on the economic situation of FR.

In December 2013, Der Spiegel reported that the DDVG was undermining the minimum wage agreed by the grand coalition of the SPD and CDU / CSU for newspaper and letter delivery companies in which it had an indirect stake , as the deliverers were not paid according to time but according to the number of items delivered become.

In 2008 the Scientific Services of the German Bundestag published an opinion on the extent to which certain parties are involved in media companies. The audit was based on reports from various parties. The inventory showed that the CDU , FDP and Die Linke also have holdings in media companies.

In January 2019, irregularities at Öko-Test Holding, a subsidiary of DDVG, became known. According to this, the DDVG founded a company in Hong Kong in 2014 to publish a Chinese version of Öko-Test. Although the economic development of the Chinese subsidiary did not meet expectations, Öko-Test Holding transferred € 1.2 million to the now insolvent Chinese company, thus using up a large part of the reserves. On July 15, 2019, the business premises of Öko-Test as well as the private rooms of several company organs accused of breach of trust were searched.

Around the discussions about the introduction of a receipt requirement in January 2020, there was also speculation as to whether the SPD, which supported this legislative proposal, would benefit from such a receipt requirement through the DDVG. Because through its investment company 2 Welten Investment GmbH, DDVG also has a stake in Locafox GmbH, a company that specializes in cash register systems and in this context also sells receipt printing devices.

Media holdings

The DDVG is involved in the following publishing houses (including the most important (sub) holdings and media products):

Press / publishing / radio

Digital business

  • 100%: GLG Green Lifestyle GmbH
  • 100%: KuK-Applications GmbH
  • 88.5%: 2 Welten Investment GmbH
    • 50.1% local portal GmbH
    • 47.8%: Locafox GmbH
    • 20.16%: Stuffle GmbH iL
    • 9.9%: Next media accelerator Beteiligungsges. mbH & Co. KG
  • 51%: TIVOLA Publishing GmbH
  • 10%: tredition GmbH

Printing houses

  • 70%: Dräger + Wullenwever print + media Lübeck GmbH & Co. KG
  • 100%: braunschweig-druck GmbH (without business operations)
  • 100%: Wullenwever print + media Lübeck GmbH (without business operations)

Trade / service

  • 100%: IMAGE Ident Marketinggesellschaft mbH
  • 100%: forward: buchhandlung + antiquariat GmbH
  • 100%: Office Consult GmbH
  • 100%: Hamburger Pressepapier Vertriebsgesellschaft (without business operations)


Web links

Individual evidence

  2. a b c German printing and publishing company with limited liability: Consolidated financial statements for the business year from January 1, 2010 to December 31, 2010.
  3. a b Where we come from . DDVG
  4. ^ Andreas Feser: Wealth Power and Media Influence. Party-owned companies and equal opportunities for the parties. BoD, Würzburg, Univ., Diss., 2003, p. 145.
  5. DDVG buys FR shares . In: Frankfurter Rundschau
  6. Comrades as renovators . In: Berliner Zeitung , April 5, 2004
  7. ^ Change of ownership at the Frankfurter Rundschau . In: Frankfurter Rundschau
  8. We want to keep the 40 percent share permanently . In: Frankfurter Rundschau
  9. The "Frankfurter Rundschau" is retained .
  10. WAN - Trends in the world press: newspaper circulation and advertising income on the upswing worldwide., archived from the original on August 12, 2011 ; Retrieved August 7, 2011 .
  11. Annual Report 2008. (PDF), archived from the original on July 18, 2011 ; Retrieved August 7, 2011 .
  12. a b c philosophy. (No longer available online.), formerly in the original ; Retrieved August 7, 2011 .  ( Page no longer available , search in web archives )@1@ 2Template: Dead Link /
  13. a b Deutsche Druck- und Verlagsgesellschaft mbH: Consolidated financial statements for the business year from January 1, 2007 to December 31, 2007.
  14. German printing and publishing company with limited liability: Consolidated financial statements for the business year from January 1, 2008 to December 31, 2008.
  15. German printing and publishing company with limited liability: Consolidated financial statements as of December 31, 2009 and group management report for the 2009 financial year.
  16. a b Deutsche Druck- und Verlagsgesellschaft mbH: Annual Report 2012.
  17. ^ SPD remains a media group , Die Welt, March 15, 2000.
  18. Westerwelle wants to ban political parties from newspapers . In: Berliner Zeitung . April 26, 2004
  19. Rundschau participation serves party interests . CDU federal association
  20. SPD-Medienholding joins the "FR" ( Memento from August 3, 2012 in the web archive ) May 4, 2004
  21. ^ Steffen Grimberg: Balance of the SPD media holding. “There was also something bizarre about that”. In: taz , October 16, 2007.
  22. a b quoted from: The SPD accounts . In: Der Tagesspiegel
  23. SPD media holding does not adhere to the planned minimum wage. In: Spiegel Online
  24. ^ Scientific Services of the German Bundestag, WD 10 - 035/08, April 22, 2008
  25. "Öko-Test": losses of millions. In: plusminus . The first , January 31, 2019, accessed December 19, 2019 .
  26. ^ Search in Frankfurt: suspicion of infidelity in Öko-Test. In: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung . July 16, 2019, accessed December 19, 2019 .
  27. Henryk Hielscher: Dispute about the obligation to receive receipts: SPD investment in cash register specialist raises questions. Retrieved March 21, 2020 .
  28. rortlepp: ddvg ~ Our holdings. Retrieved December 22, 2019 .
  29. Giuseppe Rondinella: Neue Westfälische: DDVG becomes sole owner / printer JD Küster retires as a co-partner . In: . December 11, 2015. Retrieved February 4, 2016.
  30. ddvg ~ Our holdings . In: . 2016. Retrieved February 4, 2016.