The Bertelsmann SE & Co. KGaA, headquartered in Gütersloh, Germany, is the largest media company in Europe and, according to the Institute of Media and Communications Policy’s 2017 ranking, the 16th largest worldwide. It was family-led until 1981 and is still controlled by the Mohn family. As a conglomerate, it comprises about 1,200 individual companies or equity interests. This entry further describes the company and discusses its history and business strategies.

Bertelsmann owns subsidiaries in over 50 countries and employs about 116,000 people around the globe, two thirds outside Germany (see Table 1). In German-speaking countries, Bertelsmann was perhaps best known for its operations in the book club business, which the company ended in 2015 because of its poor economic prospects.

Bertelsmann’s most dynamic and profitable divisions ...

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