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German Court Upholds Ban on Hulu Clone

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State supreme court rejects appeal by German broadcasters to create online video platform.

COLOGNE, Germany -- Plans by Germany's largest broadcasters to create a local version of Hulu look increasingly unlikely after a court Friday rejected their appeal.

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A German state supreme court Friday upheld a decision by the country's cartel office  rejecting plans by RTL Group and ProSiebenSat.1 to set up a joint online video platform. The court agreed with the cartel office that the project could extend RTL and ProSieben's dominance in free-TV to the online space. Together, channels owned by RTL and ProSieben control around 75 per cent of the German TV advertising market. The court was not convinced by RTL and ProSieben's pledge to give competitors full access to their video platform.

The ruling could open up the German market to competition, potentially from Hulu itself, in the online video space.

Germany's public broadcasters have announced their own plans for a video platform, tentatively titled Germany's Gold, but are still awaiting approval from the cartel office.