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UPDATE 1-RTL teams up with Talpa to form new Netherlands media force

(Adds details, context)

June 22 (Reuters) - Media group RTL will merge its Dutch business with Netherlands-based Talpa Network, they said on Tuesday, to step up investments and take on larger U.S. and Chinese technology groups.

Luxembourg-based RTL is already merging its French TV subsidiary M6 with Paris-based TF1 to create a new force in France’s television and video streaming markets.

“Following the proposed merger of Groupe TF1 and Groupe M6 in France, the combination of RTL Nederland and Talpa Network is the second major step to scale up our broadcasting businesses,” RTL’s Chief Executive Thomas Rabe said in a statement.

Rabe has long advocated consolidating Europe’s television industry on a country-by-country basis, and the group is also exploring similar options for its Belgium business.

At the same time, Talpa’s majority shareholder John de Mol said the move would allow the new group to keep up with U.S. and Chinese technology rivals.

RTL would own 70% of the combined group and its Dutch unit’s Chief Executive Sven Sauve would lead the business after the transaction, which should close in the second half of 2022.

At the same time, Talpa will contribute its TV, radio, print, digital, e-commerce and other assets to receive 30% of the enlarged RTL Nederland, the companies said, adding that the deal should add 100-120 million euros ($143 million) to RTL Nederland’s earnings each year from 2025. ($1 = 0.8381 euros) (Reporting by Zuzanna Szymanska in Gdansk; Editing by Edmund Blair and Alexander Smith)

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