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French Competition Authority clears acquisition of TMC and NT1 by TF1

On 26 January 2010, the French Competition Authority (FCA) conditionally cleared the acquisition by TF1, the main traditional French broadcasting channel, of full control over TMC and NT1, two digital terrestrial channels. After a Phase II investigation, the FCA concluded that without remedies, the transaction would reinforce TF1's dominant position in the television advertising market and raise issues in markets for the acquisition of broadcasting content rights. The FCA therefore cleared the transaction subject to the following remedies: facilitating the transfer of broadcasting rights to competitors while limiting the ability for rebroadcast of programmes among channels of the group; prohibiting cross-promotion of channels; prohibiting bundling of advertising time across channels; and preservation of the independence of the advertising agency managing advertising sales for TMC and NT1 from TF1's advertising agency (i.e. forbidding the combination of the two advertising agencies into a single entity).

A CRA team including Laurent Flochel, Thomas Buettner, Pascale Dechamps, Andy Parkinson and Jonathan Raggett advised TF1 throughout the pre-notification period and the FCA's investigation.

See press release for further details.

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