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Canal Plus to take minority stake in Orange channels

French pay TV operator Canal Plus is to take a minority stake in rival Orange’s pay TV venture, abandoning a earlier plan for a 50:50 merger between Orange’s Cinéma series channels and Canal Plus’s TPS Star, according to a report in financial daily La Tribune.

According to the paper, the pair have struck a deal whereby Canal Plus will take a minority stake in the Orange channels and will not exercise management control. This means that the agreement will not be subject to approval by the country’s competition regulator, according to the report.

The previous plan was to create a 50:50 joint venture combining Orange’s channels with TPS Star, with a single channel created from the merger of TPS Star and Orange Ciné Max and Canal Plus giving responsibility for content acquisition. However, Canal Plus had expressed an unwillingness to participate in the creation of a wholly autonomous company (which was seen by Orange as necessary to avoid anti-competition issues).