On 18 March 2019, the European Commission referred to the Autorité de la concurrence the examination of the creation of Salto, a joint venture of the France Télévisions, Métropole Télévision and TF1 groups. Salto is intended to offer the free-to-air DTT channels (live broadcast and catch-up TV) and a range of on-demand video services.
The Commission considers the Autorité best placed to analyse the transaction
This referral is made in application of Article 4.4 of European Regulation (EC) No 139/2004 on the control of concentrations between undertakings (for more information about referrals, see the boxed text at the end of the press release).
In agreement with the undertakings involved, the European Commission considered that the French Autorité de la concurrence was best placed to examine this transaction, particularly in view of its impact on the national market and the Autorité's experience in this sector. The parties will therefore have to notify their transaction to the Autorité, which is now competent to examine it.
Referrals by the European Commission to the Autorité de la concurrence
The Autorité de la concurrence regularly receives merger referrals from the Commission, which demonstrates the flexibility of the European system for merger control and recognises the high standard of the Autorité's work. This referral procedure, provided for by European Regulation (EC) No 139/2004, enables the Commission to refer the examination of a concentration to the national authority best placed to assess its effect on competition, where the concentration ‘threatens to affect significantly competition in a market within that Member State, which presents all the characteristics of a distinct market'.
Since 2009, the European Commission has referred 28 transactions to the Autorité de la concurrence.