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FTR #218 Update on German Corporate Control of American Publishing

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MP3 One Seg­ment [1]

Begin­ning with a review of the grow­ing Ger­man finan­cial influ­ence in Hol­ly­wood (see FTR-200), the broad­cast focus­es on Ber­tels­man­n’s cement­ing of con­trol over the Amer­i­can trade and tech­ni­cal pub­lish­ing busi­ness­es. (As not­ed in pre­vi­ous pro­grams on the sub­ject, this con­trol has been accom­plished in tan­dem with the Von Holtzbrinck firm. Like Ber­tels­mann, this com­pa­ny appears to be con­nect­ed to the remark­able and dead­ly Bor­mann orga­ni­za­tion — the eco­nom­ic com­po­nent of a Third Reich gone under­ground.

Hav­ing divest­ed itself of its stake in AOL Europe (see FTR-200 [2]), Ber­tels­mann is using that cap­i­tal, as well as mon­ey raised through IPO’s, to increase its influ­ence in the Amer­i­can and world-wide media. Ber­tels­mann has been pay­ing par­tic­u­lar atten­tion to increas­ing its on-line busi­ness­es. This grow­ing Ber­tels­mann influ­ence must be weighed against the back­ground of the sce­nario pre­sent­ed in the Nazi tract Ser­pen­t’s Walk.

Pro­gram High­lights Include: AOL’s use of Ber­tels­mann con­tent on its inter­net ser­vices; an IPO by bol.com (Ber­tels­man­n’s on-line book com­pa­ny), the pre­dic­tion by the head of bol.com that this IPO would make bol.com the num­ber one on-line book sell­er every­where in the world except the Unit­ed States (where Amazon.com is num­ber one); the fact that barnesandnoble.com (50% owned by Ber­tels­mann) is num­ber two in the Unit­ed States; Ber­tels­man­n’s acqui­si­tion of 49% in a new com­pa­ny that will pub­lish books on-line; the fact that Barnes & Noble owns rough­ly half of the com­pet­ing on-line pub­lish­er; Ber­tels­man­n’s joint ven­ture with SONY music to pub­lish CD’s on-line (the first such ven­ture by a major music com­pa­ny); a joint Ber­tels­mann-Pear­son ven­ture to form Europe’s largest TV broad­cast­ing com­pa­ny (Pear­son is a British firm); the stat­ed intent of this Ber­tels­mann-Pear­son firm to move into the Amer­i­can tele­vi­sion mar­ket; the role of a Lux­em­bourg-based hold­ing com­pa­ny in Ber­tels­man­n’s half of this new tele­vi­sion com­pa­ny; the role of Lux­em­bourg in the above-men­tioned Bor­mann orga­ni­za­tion; the role of hold­ing com­pa­nies in the Bor­mann oper­a­tion; on-line book sales of the noto­ri­ous anti-Semit­ic forgery The Pro­to­cols of the Elders of Zion; the Ber­tels­mann Foun­da­tion (a non-prof­it firm deeply involved in edu­ca­tion and artis­tic endeav­ors.) (Record­ed on 4/9/2000.)