Following a referral decision by the European Commission, TF1, France Télévisions and Métropole Télévision (hereinafter referred to as M6) notified to the Autorité de la concurrence to the contemplated creation of a joint venture, Salto, on 17 June 2019. After a thorough and detailed investigation, enlightened by the opinion issued by the CSA, the Autorité clears the creation of this joint venture, subject to conditions.
While the transaction is significant, a sustained dialogue with all stakeholders resulted in its clearance in Phase 1 within eight weeks, once the proposed commitments removed all identified competition concerns.
Salto will distribute television services, including the digital terrestrial television (DTT) channels of the parent companies and their associated services and functionalities (e. g. catch-up television) and subscription video-on-demand (SVOD). Salto's offering will be streamed over the top (OTT) and therefore be accessible to consumers directly on the Internet without the intermediary of a distributor.
As part of the procedure, the parties submitted commitments upon filing the notification form in order to address the competition concerns raised by the transaction. As a result, the Autorité was able to quickly consult the market on this initial proposal. Market stakeholders's responses to the market testcontributed to exchanges with the notifying parties. These discussions led them to propose a substantially improved new version of their proposed commitments, which in turn was market tested prior to final amendments which were considered satisfactory by the Autorité.
After examining the possible effects of the transaction on the various markets concerned, the Autorité cleared the transaction subject to commitments (as proposed in their final version on 31 July 2019).
These commitments aim to prevent coordination risks between TF1, France Télévisions and M6, as well as risks identified concerning:
- the upstream market for the acquisition of broadcasting rights
- the market for editing and marketing television channels
- the market for the distribution of pay TV services
- advertising markets
|Conditions for implementing the commitments
The commitments proposed by the parties will apply throughout mainland France and in French overseas departments, regions and collectivities.
With the exception of commitments to prevent any risk of coordination, which will apply for the lifetime of Salto, the remedies will apply for a period of five years from the date of the decision. At the end of this period, they may be renewed for a maximum period of five years following a competitive analysis to be conducted by the Autorité.