Orange files complaint about Canal Plus exclusive deal with TF1

France Télécom/Orange has filed a complaint with the French competition regulator against rival Canal Plus over the exclusive carriage of TF1’s thematic channels on the CanalSat platform.

The move follows an assessment by TF1 on the benefits of the deal that saw it conclude that staying exclusive to CanalSat was in its interest. As a result TF1 decided to extend the arrangement, which covers channels LCI, Eurosport, Eurosport2, TV Breizh, Ushuaïa TV and Histoire, for a further two years. Orange has alleged that Canal Plus has understated the amount it would be willing to pay for carriage of the channels on a non-exclusive basis.

The latest complaint could add fuel to moves to regulate Canal Plus. Bruno Lasserre, the competition regulator’s president, recently called for new regulations to counter the dominant position of the operator in the pay-TV market, forcing it to continue to unbundle the sale of channels to rivals following commitments it made at the time of the acquisition of TPS.