Court upholds Pro7 decision

Block put on Springer takeover

COLOGNE, Germany -- A German court on Wednesday upheld a decision by the country's cartel office to block plans by publishing giant Axel Springer to acquire broadcaster ProSiebenSat.1, making a future buyout unlikely and sending shares in ProSieben tumbling.

Springer, publisher of Europe's top tabloid Bild, pulled out of the planned 2.5 billion euros ($3.7 billion) deal to buy ProSieben in 2006 citing regulatory concerns.

CEO Mathias Doefner had said that Springer might consider another go at ProSieben if the court ruled in its favor. Springer still has some legal options left and can appeal the ruling.

Shares in ProSieben fell some 4% after the decision was announced. Springer stock was down nearly 1%.
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