Bertelsmann and Holtzbrinck joint venture approved by EC

<p>The European Commission has cleared the creation of a joint-venture by German media companies Bertelsmann and Holtzbrinck to operate an online distribution platform to sell e-books.<br /><br />Called Premium Vertriebs GmbH, the new business will sell all kinds of books, but focus especially on German language digital products. The Commission had investigated the deal as the European Union&#39;s (EU) most senior competition authority, but despite the size of both parent companies, it has concluded it would not harm consumer choice in the EU and approved the deal, without conditions.<br /><br />In a communiqu&eacute;, the Commission confirmed it had &quot;granted clearance under the EU merger regulation to the creation and acquisition of joint control of the joint venture&quot; by Bertelsmann and Holtzbrinck, rushing approval through in two months. It &quot;decided to . . . declare it compatible with the [European] common market&quot;.<br /><br />The joint venture will draw on complementary expertise from both partners, given Bertelsmann&#39;s experience in television, radio, and other electronic media and Holtzbrinck&#39;s publishing of books, newspapers, magazines, also plus electronic media.</p>