Arcom said yes, but Arcep said no

The two media and telecoms regulators have published their analyzes of the merger that rocked the PAF.

A few days after the announcement of the end of the merger project between TF1 and M6, the two regulators, Arcom (ex CSA) for audiovisual and Arcep, for telecoms made public the opinions they had drafted to inform the decision of the competition authority.

The analyzes of the two regulators have very different tones. If Arcom is considering the operation in view of the profound changes in the sector with the appearance of American digital platforms, Arcep is clear. For her, the television market remains largely dominant in uses and any merger would have a negative impact on relations between broadcasters (TF1 and M6) and telecom operators who distribute the channels and associated services (My TF1 and M6 Play ).

In its conclusions, Arcom seems to adhere to the analysis developed by TF1 and M6 "“The project to create a new entity bringing together the activities of the TF1 and Métropole Télévision (M6) groups is unprecedented in several respects. First of all, it is part of the context of profound industrial and structural changes. Initiated with the technological changes initiated by the advent of the Internet, these changes are amplified by the more recent arrival of new world-class digital players (in particular on-demand media services and video sharing platforms). in audiovisual markets. The entire value chain, from the upstream acquisition markets to the distribution and broadcast of the signal, is impacted».

The audiovisual policeman concedes that “these changes challenge historical players to evolve their model
editorial, and, in this respect, to increase their investments.
These investments are necessary at a time when, faced with the decline in individual viewing time (DEI) and the aging of viewers and listeners, advertising resources are stagnating..

SEE ALSO - TF1 and M6 announce the abandonment of their merger project

“Television remains a powerful medium today”

But for all that, Arcom is not totally favorable to the merger in the current state of the market. First from a competitive point of view, he writes "While television today remains a powerful medium, which provides incomparable coverage of the population, the operation would create a group occupying an exceptional position in the face of competing channels, with fragmented audiences, which are struggling to ensure their economic balance and to find their role model in the context of the digital challenge they are also experiencing".

Above all, it underlines the effects on the advertising market and that of the acquisition of audiovisual rights. "The proposed takeover of M6 by Bouygues is indeed likely to produce significant effects, although of varying magnitude, on the advertising, publishing and distribution markets, as well as on the acquisition markets. of programs on which, despite the emergence of new competitive pressures, the parties continue today to play a central role.»

For its part, Arcep bothers with fewer convolutions and is more direct in its conclusions. “For all the reasons mentioned above, the operation, if authorized, is likely to pose risks to the Internet access supply market, to the detriment of users. The Autorité therefore considers it necessary that it be accompanied by a certain number of commitments on the part of the parties.

SEE ALSO - Media: Xavier Niel hostile to the TF1-M6 merger project

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