France has two months to respond to European Union complaints that free channels awarded to Canal Plus, TF1 and M6 could violate competition rules. The manner in which the channels were granted, to compensate for the switch from analogue to digital television, could violate European Commission rules of transparency and non- discrimination.
France’s culture ministry defended the channels, saying they would find a solution that would avoid escalation of the matter, the newspaper said. Under a 2007 law, commercial channels that broadcast over-the-air in analogue – namely TF1, M6 and Canal Plus – are to automatically receive a so-called bonus channel. However, new digital-terrestrial broadcasters including NRJ, BFM, Bolloré, AB and Lagardère have contested the legality of this.