Bertelsmann sets up CRM business with Saham of Morocco

Bertelsmann and Saham have announced to enter into a long-term partnership and plan to combine their worldwide Customer Relationship Management (CRM) businesses. Photo : RR

Casablanca, Morocco (ADV) – German media and publishing group Bertelsmann has combined its content moderation and other services businesses with those of Saham of Morocco, creating a new market leader in Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

The two groups will each own 50 per cent of the new company, which will have 48,000 employees and revenues of about €1.2bn. It will offer services across the market for customer relations management (CRM), including the fast-growing business of moderating content for groups such as Facebook, which are under growing regulatory pressure to remove hate speech and other contentious content.

A recent law in Germany forces social media companies to remove potentially illegal posts within 24 hours of notification or face fines of up to €50m.“We see very large demand in CRM, especially from the large IT and high-tech companies and the tech platforms,” Thomas Rabe, Bertelsmann chief executive, said in an interview.

“You have seen announcements from all the different tech platforms saying they will invest more in content moderation. They overwhelmingly don’t want to do this themselves but use service providers.”Bertelsmann announced in January that it was exploring “strategic options” for its CRM business, including a sale or partnership. The decision followed a review that identified eight growth areas in the company — from its RTL broadcasting business to its Freemantle production company — that required significant investment.

Bertelsmann’s CRM operation was not part of that priority list, the group said at the time. The new partnership with Saham, a family-owned group with revenues of $1.4bn last year, allows Bertelsmann to retain a share of that market, but without diverting investment from other areas, Mr Rabe said.

© Bur-csa – Oumaima Mourtada – African Daily Voice (ADV)