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TF1 and M6 abandon their merger project

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The big bang of the French audiovisual landscape will not take place. In a joint press release, Bouygues and RTL Group announce that the marriage project between TF1 and M6 has been abandoned. Unveiled in May 2021, this merger would have created a French juggernaut in the purchase and distribution of content, but also in the TV and radio advertising market (the new entity would have weighed more than 70% of the sector). .

But now, it balked hard on the side of the Competition Authority which was to deliver its verdict next month. Rather than being refused, the two companies, led by Bouygues, preferred to take the lead. They had indeed proposed compromises to snatch the green light, such as the sale of the TFX and 6ter channels to the Altice group – an assignment which suddenly fell through – or even the separation for a few years of the advertising agencies.

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But that was not enough, it would have taken structural remedies “Much stronger, deplore the ex-future bride and groom. As ” the sale of the TF1 channel or the M6 ​​channel », partially emptying the economic relevance of this merger. Stakeholders regret that the Competition Authority did not take into account ” the extent and speed of changes in the French audiovisual sector threatened by global streaming giants.

On the side of the Competition Authority, we takes note of this decision which puts an end to the procedure initiated before the regulator. The latter recalls that the project would have brought together seven free-to-air DTT channels under one roof (TF1, M6, TMC, W9, Gulli, LCI and TF1 Séries Films).

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According to the Autorité, this merger could have generated major competitive risks in the television advertising and television service distribution markets. She notes that ” television remains a very powerful medium with the French population », in particular with advertisers’ preferred target, 24-49 year olds.

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