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France starts in-depth investigation into TPS/CanalSatellite merger

France’s competition commission has opened a detailed examination of the 2006 merger of DTH operators TPS and CanalSatellite.

Last year the Autorité de la Concurrence reversed its authorisation of the merger on the grounds that Canal Plus had failed to respect commitments it had made at the time.

“As part of the file review, and following an initial consultation of market participants, the Authority considers that the transaction raises serious doubts of barriers to competition and requires the opening of a detailed examination phase,” the Autorité de la Concurrence said in a statement.

An initial investigation to the merger found that competition surrounding the acquisition of rights to broadcast on pay TV platforms and the marketing of channels had changed considerably. The Autorité de la Concurrence said the next stage of the review into the merger would see it consult with regulators the CSA and ARCEP.

The investigation is expected to last up to 65 days.