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Telefónica-Canal Plus merger taken to Court

Vodafone and Orange, Telefónica’s main multi-play rivals, have taken the acquisition by Telefónica of Canal Plus to Spain’s National Court (Audiencia Nacional), demanding tougher limits on the operation to guarantee free competition in the TV content market.

Vodafone and Orange claim that they should be entitled to have access to 75 per cent of premium content and channels offered by Telefónica at reasonable prices instead of 50 per cent as approved the competition authority.

They are also demanding a different prices system to have access to sports content at better conditions to guarantee free competition.

They have also questioned the three years limit on the duration of contracts signed by Telefónica with content providers and the exclusivity for two years of exclusive content.

The appeal comes at a time when Telefónica is launching its revamped pay-TV service Movistar Plus (following the integration of Movistar TV and Canal Plus) from €20 a month, with 80 TV channels in the basic package , a catalogue of 5,000 titles (cinema, series, documentaries, children programmes) for its 3.6 million subscribers.

The service will include a new Canal Plus, with thematic channels dedicated to sports (€20), series (€5) and cinema (€9) and the OTT service Yomvi. The new offer will be available with no additional cost to all Canal Plus and Movistar clients subscribed to Fusion T para Todos.

With the relaunch of the service, Telefónica aims “to offer the best content in the Spanish television and develop the market in our country, betting at the same time on different access platforms like IPTV and OTT which will enable to watch TV through any device”.

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