The proposed merger of France’s two greatest personal tv broadcasters, TF1 and M6, has run into stiff resistance from competitors regulators, elevating the chance that it’ll not be authorised.
Bouygues, the conglomerate that owns TF1, and Bertelsmann-backed RTL, which owns M6, issued a joint assertion on Tuesday that stated they’d acquired a report written by the French competitors authority’s investigation staff that raised “a number of significant competition concerns, especially in relation to the advertising market”.
Although the businesses identified that the competitors evaluation course of was not over, they advised that the 450-page report confirmed it was not off to an excellent begin.
“The nature and extent of the remedies required in the report would mean that the merger plans would no longer be meaningful for the parties involved and they would therefore abandon them,” they stated.
Bouygues and RTL had argued that they need to be allowed to staff up in France even though TF1 and M6 would management greater than 70 per cent market share in nationwide free-to-air tv promoting.
Such a big place wouldn’t often be permitted, however they made the case that competitors regulators ought to revise their definition of the “relevant market” to replicate the modified media panorama, with extra shoppers watching streaming video companies and advertisers spending extra of their budgets on on-line advertisements.
Instead of contemplating TV adverts alone, a broader strategy would cowl the a lot bigger digital promoting market, together with giants comparable to Google, YouTube and Facebook, and imply that TF1 and M6 wouldn’t be so dominant.
If regulators approve of such an strategy, analysts stated it may set off a wave of consolidation amongst European media teams. Bouygues and Bertelsmann have lengthy argued that such consolidation is critical for broadcasters to have the ability to compete with the likes of Netflix and Amazon.
Bouygues and RTL stated they’d inform the competitors authority of their response throughout the subsequent three weeks. Hearings earlier than the competitors regulators’ decision-making committee, generally known as the school, are nonetheless set for September 5 and 6.
While it isn’t extraordinary for the school to take a unique view than the authority’s investigators, it stays fairly uncommon.
The competitors regulator declined to remark.