Axel Springer SE

Axel Springer SE
Societas Europaea
Traded as FWB: SPR
Industry Publishing
Founded 1946
Founder Axel Springer
Headquarters Berlin, Germany
Key people
Mathias Döpfner (CEO and Chairman of the management board), Giuseppe Vita (Chairman of the supervisory board)
Products Magazines, newspapers, online portals, affiliate marketing
Revenue €3.3 billion (2015)[1]
€559.0 million (2015)[1]
Profit €304.6 million (2015)[1]
Number of employees
15,023 (average, 2015)[1]

Axel Springer SE is one of the largest digital publishing houses in Europe, with numerous multimedia news brands, such as BILD, WELT, and FAKT and more than 15,000 employees. It generated total revenues of about €3.3 billion and an EBITDA of €559 million in the financial year 2015. The digital media activities contribute more than 60% to its revenues and nearly 70% to its EBITDA. Axel Springer’s business is divided into three segments: paid models, marketing models, and classified ad models.

Headquartered in Berlin, Germany, the company is active in more than 40 countries with subsidiaries, joint ventures, and licenses.

Front entrance to the Axel Springer headquarters building in West Berlin, 1977, with the Fritz Klimsch owl sculpture.

It was started in 1946/1947 by journalist Axel Springer.[2] Its current CEO is Mathias Döpfner. The Axel Springer company is the largest publishing house in Europe and controls the largest share of the German market for daily newspapers; 23.6%, largely because its flagship tabloid Bild is the highest-circulation newspaper in Europe with a daily readership in excess of 12 million.[3]

Newspapers, magazines, online offerings

The media offerings of Axel Springer SE are clustered in: current news, autos, sports, computers and consumer electronics, as well as lifestyle.

Side view of the Axel Springer corporate headquarters in Berlin.
Axel Springer building in Hamburg.

Selection of publications

In addition, the company is active in the online editorial and marketing business with its shares in, zanox, Digital Window, and and owns several classified advertising online platforms such as the online career site StepStone, the real estate marketing portal immonet and price comparison platform idealo.

Corporate principles

Part of the articles of association of Axel Springer AG are the five socio-political preambles that were written by Axel Springer in 1967, amended in 1990 following German reunification and supplemented in 2001.[5]

  1. To uphold liberty and law in Germany, a country belonging to the Western family of nations, and to further the unification of Europe.
  2. To promote reconciliation of Jews and Germans and support the vital rights of the State of Israel.
  3. To support the Transatlantic Alliance, and solidarity with the United States of America in the common values of free nations.
  4. To reject all forms of political totalitarism.
  5. To uphold the principles of a free social market economy.


The Springer building in Berlin was built adjacent to the Berlin Wall
East Berlin "death strip" of the Berlin Wall, as seen from the Axel Springer Building


Accusations of censorship

Axel Springer AG refused to publish advertising campaigns of the Left Party in 2005 as well as of the socialist PDS in earlier elections.[23]


Major competitors in the German publishing market include Bauer Media Group, Bertelsmann, Hubert Burda Media, and Holtzbrinck.


In the 1960s and 1970s the company was targeted by a number of left-wing groups. It was denounced by German-American writer Reinhard Lettau in an incendiary speech at the Freie Universität Berlin; in 1968 their Berlin headquarters was blockaded by students; in 1972 the Red Army Faction claimed responsibility for six bombs placed in the Hamburg building (only three exploded and 17 people were injured) and in 1975 a bomb exploded in their Paris office, the "6th of March Group" (connected to the Red Army Faction) claimed responsibility.[24]

See also


  1. 1 2 3 4 "Axel Springer SE Annual Report 2015". Retrieved 16 March 2016.
  3. Hans J. Kleinsteuber in Kelly. M, Mazzoleni. G and McQuail. D. eds. 2004 "The Media in Europe. The Euromedia Handbook."
  5. "Principles and Guidelines". Axel Springer. Archived from the original on 15 April 2014. Retrieved 29 April 2014.
  6. "Sex, Smut and Shock: Bild Zeitung Rules Germany". Spiegel Online. 25 April 2006. Retrieved 14 July 2014.
  7. Kirschbaum, Erik (23 June 2012). "German daily sent to all 41 million households". Reuters. Retrieved 14 June 2014.
  8. Jeremy Varon, Bringing the War Home: The Weather Underground, the Red Army Faction, and Revolutionary Violence in the Sixties and Seventies (Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2004), p.39
  9. Jillian Becker, Hitler’s Children: The Story of the Baader-Meinhof Terrorist Gang (New York: JB Lippincott, 1977), p.39
  10. Noam, Eli (1991). Television in Europe. Oxford University Press. p. 90. ISBN 0195069420.
  11. "Springer May Shake Up Ad Market With ProSieben1 Bid (Update1)". Bloomberg. 1 August 2005. Retrieved 14 July 2014.
  12. Boston, William (10 February 2014). "In Axel Springer's Bid for Forbes, a German Player Steps Out". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 14 July 2014.
  13. Chronicle on
  14. "Seloger.Com Shares Rise Most Ever as Shareholder Questions Springer Offer". bloomberg. 13 September 2010. Retrieved 2 July 2013.
  15. "Axel Springer plans no higher offer for". 16 September 2010.
  16. "General Atlantic in €237m JV with German publisher Axel Springer". AltAssets. 6 March 2012. Retrieved 14 July 2014.
  17. "Axel Springer buys Reed Elsevier's Totaljobs site". MarketWatch. 4 April 2012. Retrieved 14 July 2014.
  18. Sell-Off: Newspaper Giant Turns Back on Journalism
  19. Axel Springer sheds some French magazines - report
  20. German publishing powerhouse Axel Springer buys Business Insider at a whopping $442 million valuation
  21. "Axel Springer gives General Atlantic shares for classified ads stake". Reuters. Retrieved 18 December 2015.
  22. "Axel Springer acquires the remaining 15 percent in online classified ad company Axel Springer Digital Classifieds". Retrieved 18 December 2015.
  23. German: Springer-Press boycotts Left Party

External links

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