German media groups to form data alliance

German media groups to form data alliance

A group of German television and internet companies are poised to create a joint data alliance meant to be a counterweight to dominant US players such as Google and Facebook. It's looking for more partners to join.

German TV and internet firms are looking to forge a data alliance designed to let them act independently of US heavyweights Facebook, Google and Twitter when it comes to data pooling.

RTL Germany, ProSiebenSat.1 Media and United Internet (including its and gmx platforms) said Friday they were planning to come up with a joint online registration and log-in procedure, which they added would be fully in line with the European Union's new data protection legislation.

The alliance, which has already been joined by Berlin-based retailer Zalando, hopes to develop a transparent data-pooling scheme by 2018 which would enable its users to access all internet-based services of the initiative with the same log-in data.

Huge user base

The services in question will include tools to spread personalized ads. The companies in charge made a point of emphasizing that user data would be allowed to be shared among account providers and the group's services, but they hastened to add this would only happen "with the full consent of users."

The data alliance is expected to reach some 45 million users right from the start. The planned cooperation will be the second of its kind in Germany, following a similar project involving Allianz, Deutsche Bank, Daimler and others.

These national alliances attempt to serve as a counterweight to the services of US giants Facebook, Google and Twitter, which stand accused in Europe of exploiting their market dominance in the online data platform sector.

"Our alliance will be a counterweight to the monopolist and non-transparent algorithms of the big US players," ProSiebenSat.1 CEO Thomas Ebeling said in a statement.

"Every company that joins our initiative will strengthen the German digital economy," RTL Germany chief Anke Schäferkordt added.

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