Editorial & Business
Associated Press, DAPD and DPA: Updates
A gauche : Gary Pruitt, Président d’Associated Press © Abaca USA
On Wednesday, November 14th, the Associated Press announced from New York the termination of its contract with the German agency DAPD in favor of DPA, the leading German-language news agency. On Friday, November 16th, DAPD firmly denied the validity of the announcement, For Sipa News the consequences in France are still not clear. What a drama!
For the past two years, Martin Vorderwülbecker and Peter Loew, who made their name in France by taking over Sipa Press, have been in an intense competition with DPA, as their agency DAPD had become the second largest in Germany, in terms of revenue.
This competition was made possible thanks to an exclusive redistribution agreement with the Associated Press newswire.
But after a series of bankruptcies by eight of their twenty-six subsidiaries (see our previous article), the direction of the Associated Press deemed the cup full.
On Wednesday, November 14, the President of Associated Press, Gary Pruitt, announced his decision in an unambiguous press release:
The agreement allows AP to extend its existing coverage of Germany and Austria with DPA’s extensive text and photo news and to represent DPA photos for sale in markets outside of Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The agreement is expected to become as of Jan. 1, 2013.
The blow is more severe for the DAPD agency. In the opinion of some German colleagues, this is DAPD’s death sentence, and it also puts in danger the Hamburg-based photo subsidiary DDP, directed by Ulf Schmidt-Funke, the former president of Sipa Press.
Wolf Von Der Fecht, the receiver charged with finding a solution for the bankrupt companies of the DAPD group, did not appreciate this announcement. In a statement released on Friday by Reuters, he declared: “We have studied in detail the termination of this agreement in light of the rights of the companies declared insolvent, and due to these specific measures the termination of this contract is not valid.”