Springer appeals ruling on ProSieben deal

Watchdogs argue against company merger

COLOGNE, Germany -- Publishing giant Axel Springer has appealed a December court ruling that upheld an earlier ruling blocking Springer's attempt to buy broadcaster ProSiebenSat.1.

Springer pulled out of its planned 2.5 billion euro ($3.4 billion) acquisition of ProSieben after media regulators objected to the deal. The watchdogs argued that the merged company, combining ProSieben, Germany's largest commercial broadcaster, with Springer, its largest publisher, would have too much control over public opinion and advertising.

If Springer's appeal succeeds, which most observers consider unlikely, the publisher could make another bid for ProSieben.