Pro7Sat.1 extends Web footprint

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COLOGNE, Germany -- Just over a month after buying into German site MyVideo, the country's leading commercial broadcaster, Pro7Sat.1, has taken a stake in Lokalisten, a German-language "social networking" site similar to MySpace.

Pro7Sat.1 announced Tuesday it has taken a 30% stake in Lokalisten.de for an undisclosed sum.

The site, founded in May 2005, boasts some 325,000 members, making it one of Germany's largest social-networking Web portals.

In September, Pro7Sat.1 bought a 30% stake in MyVideo, a user-generated video Web site similar to U.S.-baed YouTube (HR 9/5).

Following News Corp.'s takeover of MySpace and Google's $1.65 billion acquisition of YouTube, Pro7Sat.1 is rushing to establish its footprint in the German Web community before the heavyweights arrive with local-language versions of their offerings.

"With Lokalisten.de, the Pro7Sat.1 group now has an offering for the MySpace generation," Pro7Sat.1 CEO Guillaume de Posch said. "(This kind of) social network is an ideal extension to our online world."

Lokalisten.de was started by brothers Marc, Oliver and Alexander Samwer with financial backing from venture capital group the European Founders Fund.
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