French competition regulator L’Autorité de la concurrence has fined French pay TV operator Canal Plus €30 million for failing to comply with a number of requirements relating to the acquisition of TPS in 2006.
L’Autorité ruled that Canal Plus failed to uphold ten commitments when its parent company Vivendi acquired TPS, including a commitment to make seven channels available to internet service providers as part of their own TV offerings. The regulator said Canal Plus delayed making the channels, including premium channel TPS Star and Sport Plus, available to the ISPs until beyond the required date. Canal Plus was also found to have set too high a price to ISPs for TPS Star.
As well as fining the pay TV operator, L’Autorité has retrospectively removed its authorisation of the merger. Canal Plus must now notify the regulator within a month that it has made the necessary changes.
Canal Plus responded immediately with a statement calling the ruling “highly unusual and disproportionate”. It said it would appeal the decision, claiming it is impossible to challenge a merger five years after it took place.