France’s Altice has rejected accusations that the acquisition of Media Capital, Portugal’s biggest media company will reduce competition and threaten the independence of the country’s media.
Media Capital’s assets include Portugal’s leading commercial broadcaster TVI, content producer Plural Entertainment, as well as radio and Internet operations. Altice already owns the country’s biggest telco, Portugal Telecom/Meo.
Rival operators in Portugal have in recent weeks criticised the deal – estimated to be worth €321 million.
Emphasising that it is the largest foreign investor in Portugal in recent years (having invested over €6 billion in Meo), Altice claims that the purchase of Media Capital “will bring significant benefits to both the Portuguese media sector and for consumers”.
One of its commitments is to continue investing in TVI, while guaranteeing distribution on all pay-TV platforms. Also, Altice promises to make the TVI24 news channel available to all Portuguese viewers, as well as launching new TV channels.
Altice vows it will maintain both Media Capital’s relations with other distributors, such as NOS and Vodafone, as well as Meo’s relations with other content providers, such as the Impresa group, on a non-discriminatory basis.
In addition, Altice plans to expand content and production capacities globally, especially in markets where it is already present in Europe and the US, while seeking “convergence opportunities” for digital advertising.
Finally, Altice promises to “maintain absolute editorial independence and media pluralism”, recalling that it owns brands such as BFM TV, over which it has never had any influence on editorial decisions.