The first unfavorable report from the competition authority, but the chains maintain their project

A first report was issued by the investigation departments of the Competition Authority, and it was not “unfavorable” The leader of M6, Nicolas de Tavernost, announced on Tuesday, July 26, the proposed merger between TF1 and M6, which will create a French television giant, on the sidelines of the publication of the results of his group.

The report specifically mentions ‘Big competition fears’ In the TV ad, Mr. de Tavernoust mentioned. “The nature and extent of the remedies sought in the investigation report will render the project irrelevant to the parties who would abandon it in this case.”then jointly announced the TF1, M6 and their shareholders – the Bouygues Group and RTL – in several press releases.

These measures “It will not make it possible to build a coherent industrial project”Mr. de Tavernoust insisted on his proposal for the position of next CEO of the new group. The two channels are relying on this merger to outsmart new digital players, such as Netflix, who are feeding into traditional TV watching time, raising prices for audiovisual programming and are now investing in the advertising market.

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Final decision expected in October

The TF1 and M6 are asking Autorité de la concurrence to consider their market share with these new global players in mind. Both groups originally hoped “converge” It is estimated between 250 and 350 million euros. Channels, however, you hear “Keep the project as presented” And respond to the institution within three weeks, said the chairman of the board of M6.

The parties involved will be heard by the competition authority body on September 5 and 6, Bouygues Groups, TF1’s largest shareholder, and RTL, which owns the M6, said in press releases. The final decision, expected in October, will be up to this college, which is not required to follow the advice of investigative services.

The merger of TF1 and M6 will create a French giant in the audiovisual rights market, channel distribution and television advertising, with about 75% of French turnover in the latter sector. Announced in May 2021, this project is supposed to be completed in early 2023, having also received approval from Arcom (former CSA), scheduled for November.

The latest mixed results of the M6 ​​group

The two groups have already begun positioning themselves in order to allow for a merger. In particular, they announced the sale of TFX and 6ter channels to the Altice Group and the launch of the TNT frequency in Paris Première to comply with the regulations on media concentration. TF1 for its part has withdrawn from a certain number of activities associated with online marketing and journalism.

The M6 ​​Group delivered mixed results for the first half on Tuesday. Mr. de Tavernost commented that its turnover, which amounted to 664 million euros, increased by 3% in one year thanks in particular to the resumption of cinematic activity. But advertising revenue, stable from January to June of €530 million, presents less encouraging prospects for the second half of the year.

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This is partly explained by the absence of sporting events during the summer compared to the previous year, when M6 broadcast eight football matches at Euro 2020, and the economic context leading advertisers to some. “waiting”said the leader. The increase in expenses related to the merger project and the decrease in the audiovisual tax credit also affected the net profit of the group, which fell in the first half by 22.4% to 92.5 million euros.

The world with AFP

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