Advanced Television

Antena 3 rejects CNC’s limits on La Sexta merger

July 18, 2012

From David Del Valle in Madrid

Spanish broadcaster Antena 3 TV has rejected the tough limits imposed by the competition watchdog CNC on the grounds that are “unfair and discriminatory conditions” only to the benefit of rival Mediaset’s dominance in the market.

Antena 3 is now reconsidering its merger plans with La Sexta as, it said, “under the umbrella of defense of the market, the National Competition Commission’s (CNC) resolution strengthens and protects the absolute domination of Mediaset Spain Group’s dominant position for the next few years in the open and pay TV business, to the detriment of the rest of the broadcasters, including Antena 3 Group”.

The CNC, which approved Mediaset’s merger with Cuatro 18 months ago with minimal conditions for three years, ordered Antena 3 to create two independent companies to sell advertising–as opposed to Mediaset, which can market packages using both channels offer to potential clients. Additionally, the two companies should not communicate and eliminate obvious synergies to market advertising.

Antena 3 must also create commercial packages that offer a maximum of 18 per cent share, compared to Mediaset’s 22 per cent share–and must respect the condition for five years.

“The company has decided, as a result, to not accept the conditions dictated by Competition and to employ every legal and administrative mechanism possible with the aim of defending the operation as well as the interests of the Antena 3 Group and its shareholders.” said Antena 3.

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