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German Newspapers Plan National Online Ad Group

Newspaper publishers in Germany are reportedly moving to head off competition in Internet advertising sales by forming a joint marketing organization for online advertisements.

German newspaper industry association spokesman Hans-Joachim Fuhrmann said that while many German newspapers already offer online ads, the new group would use attractive content and services to fight off upstarts, Reuters reported.

Fuhrmann said that small companies specializing in huge databases with industry specific headings such as automobiles, real estate, travel and employment ads threatened to undermine the papers' advertising business.

He added that while most newspapers only offer local or regional sector-specific advertising, the new online companies were presenting national or international ad databases.

The industry group BDZV said that newspapers remain the top source of news and the largest advertising medium in Germany despite increasing competition from other media.