Three shops plan German venture

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[Duesseldorf, Germany] Publicis Groupe's Zenith Optimedia, TKM Starcom and Omnicom Group's OMD Germany are setting up a joint venture called Merlion that will handle media negotiations in Germany starting in January 2005."It's an unusual solution to a unique market," said Steve King, Zenith Optimedia's chief executive-worldwide. Mr. King said the German market is volume-driven and dominated by Aegis Group's Carat and Grey Global Group's MediaCom, each with more than 20% of the German market. Mr. King said Merlion will only do negotiations and will not plan or buy media, or operate outside Germany.
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