TF1 and M6 warn: The announced merger of the two companies is threatened by the competition authority, they announced on Tuesday, July 26th. Within the institution, the investigative services responsible for examining the files have submitted their report. However, this does not prejudge the final decision “is not cheap”, worried, during the presentation of the results of M6, Nicolas de Tavernost, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the group and designated boss of the future. The report is from “Significant competition concerns” and proposes measures that “would not allow building a coherent industrial project”‘ said the leader.
The groups M6 and Bouygues (owners of TF1) published an identical press release: “The investigating services believe that the transaction raises significant competition concerns (particularly in the advertising market)They write. The nature and extent of the remedies requested in the investigation report would render the parties’ intention irrelevant, who would then abandon it. »
TF1 and M6 do not provide any information on the corrective actions proposed in the document. Her statement aims to inform stock markets and put pressure on decision makers.
Among them 41% of TV viewers
The challenge of the TF1-M6 merger lies in the importance of the two players on the French market. Together they represent 41% of the television audience. The constitution of such a heavyweight raises questions about information pluralism, the purchase of series or program rights, but above all about the television advertising market, where it would hold a 75% market share.
To get around the problem, the two audiovisual sector flagships are asking the Competition Authority to review their definition of “relevant market” to analyze the merger: you propose to supplement the television advertisements displayed on the Internet (excluding sponsored links in the Google search engine). According to our estimates, their market share would then drop to around 42%.
All the arguments in favor of the merger are based on the need to grow to face competition from foreign digital giants with global activity: Meta (Facebook, Instagram, etc.) and Google (YouTube), but also Amazon, group present through its Prime is a video transmission platform and increasingly active in advertising. TF1 and M6 are also alarmed by the proliferation of subscription video-on-demand services: the market leader Netflix, but also AppleTV+, etc.
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