Media concentration

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Among media concentration is meant the extent and magnitude, occupy a dominant position in the media to the individual business groups. This can be viewed critically from the point of view of diversity of opinion as well as entrepreneurial cartel formation . A monopoly-like position in the press or television is therefore of particular importance, since it is feared that the media entrepreneurs could abuse their opinion-forming power for political purposes.

However, media concentration does not only show a so-called journalistic level. It also has an impact on the media industry. Advertising customers are particularly affected by this, as, for example, as a result of so-called combination tariffs, they are often forced to buy bundled advertising space or else have to pay overpriced prices because there is no competition to address.

Media concentration and media concentration research

Manfred Knoche's research focus on media concentration research at the University of Salzburg is a. with the processes and effects of an accelerated economization of the information, communication and media sector. Media concentration can therefore never be viewed in isolation. Questions about the development of the Austrian media industry in the European context are of great importance in the context of media economic research.

Manfred Knoche (1996: 109) distinguishes four different phases of concentration, which are characterized by a steadily increasing degree of market and capital concentration:

  1. horizontal newspaper or magazine publisher concentration (concentration in the same market) in connection with international concentration
  2. Pressed-diagonal concentration (amalgamation on different levels of the press) with the formation of press groups
  3. Media-diagonal and vertical concentration through connection with film and book publishers via the joint establishment of radio and television companies with the formation of (multi) media groups
  4. Conglomerate concentration through the connection of media groups with non-media companies as well as with companies in the field of data services and media infrastructure with the formation of communication groups

Situation in Germany

watch TV

Television in Germany today is characterized by the dual system , the coexistence of public broadcasting and private broadcasting , each of which accounts for around half of total television consumption. In turn, private television is now dominated by two media groups, the RTL Group and ProSiebenSat.1 . Lax media law provisions that only take effect from a total market share of 25–30 percent have contributed to this concentration of what was originally a four-tier private television market (Tele 5, ProSieben, Sat.1, RTL). Private programs that do not belong to these two broadcasting groups have only small market shares.

In the pay-TV range is Sky dominant. The company was created in 1999 through the merger of the only two providers at the time, the old Premiere and DF1 . The competing offers of the cable network operators (especially Vodafone Kabel Deutschland and Unitymedia ) have only a small number of subscribers. The attempt to set up a competitor to broadcast the German Bundesliga with Arena TV failed after just one year.


As in television, there is a juxtaposition of public and private programs on radio. The situation in the individual federal states differs considerably due to the different legal requirements of the respective state media authorities . As a rule, the regional radio market is dominated by one or two state-wide programs; in some federal states there are also local programs.

Viewed across Germany, the RTL Group and Regiocast, which is controlled by Axel Springer AG , own the majority of the shares in radio programs.


The market for nationally reputable newspapers is dominated by the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung and the Süddeutsche Zeitung ; the latter is controlled by the Südwestdeutsche Medien Holding (SWMH). Die Welt and the Frankfurter Rundschau are less important . The Bild-Zeitung has a national monopoly as the only nationwide tabloid . Only in regional markets such as Munich , Cologne , Hamburg , Berlin and Saxony are there local print media of this type as competition. The tabloids are published by the same publisher in Cologne, Hamburg and Berlin .

In the area of ​​regional newspapers, regional monopolies have mostly developed in Germany. In over two thirds of the German (rural) districts and cities (see one-newspaper district ) only a single regional newspaper appears, in other areas several regional newspapers are available under one roof, creating an entrepreneurial monopoly. This is e.g. B. in northern Germany ( Nordwest-Zeitung ), Nuremberg ( Nürnberger Nachrichten / Nürnberger Zeitung ), Stuttgart ( Stuttgarter Nachrichten / Stuttgarter Zeitung ) and in the Ruhr area ( Funke Mediengruppe ). Real competition between competing providers only exists in a few larger cities (e.g. Berlin, Munich, Frankfurt) and in some regions v. a. in South Germany.

The monopoly structures can differ considerably locally. There are still some family-run newspapers in central Baden-Württemberg, but only two (the Esslinger Zeitung and the Reutlinger General-Anzeiger ) do not take on one of the supraregional coats of the SWMH newspapers (Stuttgarter Zeitung, Stuttgarter Nachrichten, Die Rheinpfalz , Südwest -Press , Heilbronn voice ). In Schleswig-Holstein, on the other hand, the SHZ is the owner of almost all regional newspapers in the state (exceptions are the Kieler and Lübecker Nachrichten ), which all appear with the same cover. In Flensburg, the city's second newspaper is the bilingual (German / Danish) daily newspaper Flensborg Avis .

At the beginning of the 1980s, initiatives for press diversity emerged in some cities in order to counteract media concentration (e.g. Kieler Rundschau , Hamburger Rundschau , Karlsruher Rundschau ). For a while, the optimism of communication science was that the Internet would become the great “reserve of diversity”. This has not yet been confirmed due to insufficient advertising income. The 2018 study by the Dortmund Formatt Institute by Horst Röper , on the other hand, speaks of a “new wave of press concentration ” in Germany.


The popular magazine market is dominated by the publishing houses Gruner and Jahr , Burda , Bauer and Axel Springer SE .


In Germany, the media concentration is critically examined primarily from historical experience: In the Weimar Republic , the right-wing conservative newspaper publisher Alfred Hugenberg largely dominated the market for daily newspapers and thus actively supported the political efforts of the German Nationals , who from 1930 onwards increasingly became the stirrup holders of the NSDAP .

Media law

Media concentration in broadcasting is determined on the basis of the provisions of the 3rd State Treaty on Broadcasting of May 15, 1997 by the Commission for Determining Concentration in the Media Area (KEK) and, on a case-by-case basis, by the Conference of Directors of the State Media Authorities (KDLM).

Antitrust and Competition Law

For press and radio, the GWB lays down in Section 38; Paragraph 3 sets a lowered intervention threshold for merger control .

See also


  • Georgios Gounalakis , Georgios Zagouras, Plea for a European right of media concentration, ZUM 2006, 716–725.
  • Josef Trappel, Werner A. Meier, Klaus Schrape (author): The social consequences of media concentration. Leske + Budrich, Opladen 2002, ISBN 3-8100-3465-7 .
  • Thomas Steinmaurer: Concentrated and intertwined. Austria's media system at a glance . Studien Verlag, Innsbruck, Vienna, Munich, Bozen 2002.
  • Lutz Hachmeister , Günther Rager (eds.): Who controls the media? The 50 largest media groups in the world. Yearbook 2000. Beck, Munich 2000, ISBN 3-406-42158-X .
  • Lutz Hachmeister , Günther Rager (eds.): Who controls the media? The 50 largest media groups in the world. Yearbook 2005. Beck, Munich 2005, ISBN 3-406-52832-5 .
  • Bernd Malzanini: Media Concentration in Europe . euro | topics , 2007. ( online )
  • Florian Melchert, Freedom of Expression in Danger ?: the media policy debate in the Federal Republic from the television controversy to the anti-Springer campaign (1961–1969), Diss. Bochum 2003.
  • Josef Trappel et al .: The social consequences of media concentration. State Institute for Media North Rhine-Westphalia . ( Summary , PDF, 36.4 kB)

Web links

supporting documents

  1. ^ "A catastrophe for diversity" - newspaper researcher Horst Röper on monopolies, central editorial offices and local journalism on the internet , Der Tagesspiegel from July 6, 2018, accessed July 14, 2018