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German cartel office starts extended probe of Springer disposals

The logo of the newspaper 'Berliner Morgenpost' of German publisher Axel Springer is pictured on a roof of a building in Berlin July 25, 2013. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - The German cartel office, the country's anti-trust watchdog, has started an extended probe into the sale of Axel Spinger's (GER:SPR) magazines and regional newspapers, a spokesman said on Wednesday.

The Berlin-based publisher in August struck a 920 million euro deal (782 million pounds) to sell its regional newspapers Berliner Morgenpost and Hamburger Abendblatt as well as five TV programme guides and two women's magazines to Germany's Funke Mediengruppe.

The cartel office has until January 10 to investigate the deal, the watchdog's spokesman said.

Axel Springer declined to comment.

(Reporting by Matthias Inverardi Nadine Schimroszik; Writing by Harro ten Wolde; Editing by Peter Dinkloh)