The fall of the “Iron Curtain” is followed by further investments in Eastern Germany and Eastern Europe. By entering into a joint venture with AOL, the Group joins the Internet Age for good, and a little later confirms its commitment to its core business of publishing by acquiring the prestigious U.S. publishing group Random House in 1998. That same year, Mark Wössner is succeeded as Chairman & CEO by Thomas Middelhoff, who pushes for expanding the portfolio to include Internet businesses. The decade ends with the Group’s spectacular exhibit at Expo 2000 in Hannover: “Planet m.” In February 2001, Bertelsmann takes over the 30-percent stake owned by the investor Groupe Bruxelles Lambert (GBL) in RTL Group in a share swap, giving it a majority stake in the broadcasting group founded in the year 2000.