TF1 and M6 have offered to keep their advertising businesses separate for three years after their merger in an attempt to secure regulatory approval of the fusion, according to a report by French newspaper Le Figaro. The proposal is part of a wider set of actions proposed by the parent companies of the two broadcasters, Bouygues and RTL Group, to the Autorité de la Concurrence, the French competition authority.
According to the report, Bouygues and RTL Group would also keep their autonomy, being prevented from collaboration so as to maintain their independent commercial offering. Moreover, they will offer to keep their radio advertising businesses separate, will limit the distribution of French films on the combined companies’ channels, and will extend by one year their distribution agreements with service providers such as Canal+, Orange, Free, and SFR.
Last month, the Autorité de la Concurrence raised significant competition concerns, with specific focus on the advertising market. If the merger finally takes place, the combined TF1-M6 will have about a 75% share of the French television ad market. The national watchdog is expected to make a final decision in October following hearings in September.