France’s competition watchdog to investigate Numericable-SFR deal

SFRFrance’s competition authority has announced a wide-ranging investigation into cable operator Numericable’s proposed acquisition of Vivendi-owned telco SFR, citing serious concerns about the impact the deal could have on the competitive environment.

The authority will lead a consultation with concerned parties, involving telecom regulator ARCEP and media regulator the CSA, that will take place over 65 days, a period that could be extended if necessary.

The move was widely expected in France. The consultation will examine possible remedies that might be necessary to ensure continued competition. The investigation will encompass the competition impact on markets including high-speed internet, mobile networks and, retail activities.

Bouygues Telecom, which lost out in the race to secure a deal with Vivendi, is expected to have its say on the way in which the deal between Vivendi and Numericable was struck.