Numericable’s takeover of mobile operator SFR has been given the green light from the French competition authority on the condition that it opens up its cable network to competitors.
Under proposals put forward by the Autorité de la concurrence Numericable has committed to allow Orange, Bouygues Telecom and Free to distribute their offering via a cable box. The access offer will be subject the approval from the authority and must allow enough headroom to allow the product to be developed.
A first “white label” offer will allow access to any third-party who do not have their own access to the cable box. A second offer, called “bitstream” will allow ISPs to use cable access to provide offers THD using their own box and their own user interfaces.
Numericable has also agreed to sell its DSL network to help stimulate competition in the market. It will also allow companies access to its fibre-optic local loop. Outremer Telecom’s mobile operations in Reunion and Mayotte will be divested.
A series of steps will also be taken to ensure Vivendi does not benefit from confidential information. A third-party will attend board meetings on their behalf.
The commitments will be in place for an initial period of five years.
Numericable said the commitments did not present a bar to the deal, which will make the operator the second largest in France behind Orange.