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Orange, Vodafone attack Telefonica ‘pay-TV monopoly’

Orange and Vodafone have accused Telefonica of a monopoly in the pay-TV business with the acquisition of Canal Plus bringing it to 80 per cent of the market.

The CEO of Orange, Jean Marc Vignolles, has claimed that the competitive situation in the TV rights market is “critical” with high risks for all the players. He pointed out that the pay-TV market in Spain is unique in Europe as there is no satellite pay TV operator, and the only way to acquire the services is through telco companies. “The incumbent (Telefonica) company has a monopoly with over 80 per cent of the market and controlling almost the whole of exclusive rights to premium content”. He said that the limits imposed by the CNMC regulator are “insufficient” running the risk of “damaging competition in the mobile and broadband markets”.

The CEO of Vodafone, Antonio Coimbra, has urged Brussels by letter to revoke the conditions imposed by the Spanish competition authorities on the approval of the merger between Movistar and Canal Plus. Vodafone is demanding that the percentage of 50 per cent of premium content that Telefonica is obliged to give access to other operators be increased to 75 per cent.

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