The French media regulator CSA has published its official opinion on the merger of the CanalSat bouquet with that of rival TPS and the acquisition of the Bolloré Groupe by Canal+.
The two notices by the CSA to the Competition Authority had been eagerly anticipated by the French media and contain a detailed assessment of the French pay-TV market and its content suppliers.
Last week the Competition Authority ordered the disposal of the Orange Cinema series channels as part of the conditions for the approval of the acquisition of Direct 8 and Direct Star by the Canal+ Group. The move was met with pleasure by the media regulator.
At the same time the Competition Authority said the pay-TV network would be required to take a series of measures relating to the 2006 takeover of its then competitor TPS. A previous ruling had found Canal had reneged on its commitments.
The CSA says it was also satisfied with the prevention of any linkage between premium TV rights and VOD content, as well as the unbundling of movie channels held by Canal+ and distributed on Canalsat.
Although the CSA holds the right to veto any change of ownership it cedes responsibility on competition issues to the Competition Authority. However, it is clearly responsible for content and says the Direct 8 channel must offer original content once in the hands of Canal+.