European Publishing Giant Axel Springer to buy Politico in a Billion dollar deal


On Thursday, German publisher Axel Springer announced that it would buy Washington D.C. based Politico, a popular U.S. digital media site. It will also buy the remaining 50 percent of Politico Europe. Although the cost of the deal was not announced, a person familiar with the matter said that the deal was at least a billion dollar one.


When CNBC requested confirmation of the cost of the deal, spokespersons from both the companies did not respond.


Axel Springer has a presence in the U.S. and is continuing to expand and invest in U.S. digital media companies. It is already associated with the following major publications or sites including Insider and Morning Brew, a newsletter publisher, in the nation. It also owns major news outlets such as Bild and Die Welt. Axel Springer has become a private company.


According to a press release, in 2014, Politico and Axel Springer developed a joint venture and debuted as Politico Europe. It became profitable in 2019. Now they are cementing the relationship further with the deal with Politico.


The press release also said Politico founder and publisher Robert Allbritton, would remain in his role at both Politico and Protocol, which is its sibling tech site. Axel Springer also said that Protocol and Politico — U.S. and Europe will maintain editorial and leadership independence from other U.S. brands under the Axel Springer Umbrella.


According to the New York Times, Springer’s CEO Mathias Dopfner noted that Politico was an “outstanding media company” and is known for its “disruptive digital political journalism. He said that the parent company would ensure that the D.C. site would maintain its “editorial independence” and would continue its “nonpartisan reporting.


Two sources also told CNBC that Axel Springer had also considered buying Axios, a rival of Politico but later settled with its 2014 partner, Politico, with whom it had been in talks since several months. The deal is expected to be closed before the end of the fourth quarter of 2021.

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