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Bouygues, RTL offer TF1/M6 merger concessions

August 22, 2022

From Pascale Paoli-Lebailly in Paris

With the French competition authority (Autorité de la Concurrence) raising concerns about the proposed merger between TF1 and M6, in particular its effect on the advertising market, Bouygues Group and RTL Group have revealed their first proposals covering advertising and TV production.

To rescue the merger, they are both proposing to keep their advertising agencies separate for a three-year period following the merger, according to daily newspaper Le Figaro.

Both structures would also keep their autonomy, being prevented from collaboration so as to maintain their independent commercial offering. This operational model could be extended to the radio activities, as M6 Publicité also sells on behalf of M6 Group radio stations RTL, RTL2 and Fun Radio.

Both groups’ proposals have been submitted to the authority for a consultation round.

TF1 and M6 have still three days, until August 25th, to formulate new proposals, before the hearings in front of the competition authority Board, scheduled for September 5th and 6th 2022.

Other suggestions are related to TV production. Accordingly, TF1 and M6 would promise to limit the distribution of French feature films across the channels of the merged entity.

Bouygues and RTL Group would also engage into a one-year extension of the distribution contracts of their channels with Canal+ and telcos.

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