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CSA wants more power to regulate Canal Plus

French media regulator the CSA wants to acquire stronger regulatory power over Canal Plus.

The regulator’s new chief executive , Olivier Schramek has proposed eight new regulatory proposals inherited from his predecessor Michel Boyon to the government, among which is a proposal that the CSA should have the power to subject the pay TV operator to economic regulation a priori.

This would mark a change from the current regime, under which the CSA has the power to take measures against Canal Plus after the event if it is found to have abused its position in the pay TV market.

The CSA said that the absence of a priori regulation by it had permitted the development of anti-competitive practices by the pay TV giant, notably abuse of its dominant position.

The regulator is arguing that this would only bring it into line with a similar power to that granted to Ofcom in the UK vis-à-vis BSkyB in 2010. It is also proposing that it should be granted powers similar to those given to telecom regulator ARCEP in relation to Orange.

The CSA has also proposed that it should be given the power to allow pay TV channels on the country’s digital-terrestrial platform to move to a free-to-air model, something that is forbidden under current legislation.