The northern German states of Hamburg and Schleswig-Holstein rescued their new joint regulatory authority at the last minute.
The prime ministers of the two federal states signed revisions to the treaty setting up the Medienanstalt Hamburg Schleswig-Holstein (MA HSH) as a successor to the two existing authorities just in time for the new body to start operation on 1 March.
The original treaty was signed in June 2006, but the Schleswig-Holstein branch of the Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands (SPD) party, part of the governing coalition in the state, said it would refuse to vote for the authority if the influence of Schleswig-Holstein in the new authority was minimal.
After some changes, the SPD parliamentarians said they are now happy with the increased role for Schleswig-Holstein, although they were not able to change the location of the authority headquarters from a suburb of the city-state of Hamburg.
Media watchdogs have strongly criticized the rules of the new authority, as they allow representatives of the two state governments to attend and speak at all meetings of the governing council.
The new authority is only the second such agency to be formed through the merger of existing regulators.