The merger between TF1 and M6 in the face of regulatory requirements


The merger between TF1 and M6 has just taken a new step, with the agreement validated by the personnel bodies of the two groups. But the transaction is not at the end of its sentences: the operation must indeed be validated by the competition regulators.

The merger between the first and the third French channels will give birth to a media and television advertising giant. What to measure a little better with the large global platforms of the Internet, according to the promoters of the project. The operation saw further progress with the validation of the agreement by the employee representative bodies of the Bouygues group (which owns TF1) and of RTL Group, which owns M6, its satellites and radio stations including RTL. The rapprochement should be completed at the end of next year, but it will first be necessary to obtain the green light from the regulators: first of all the CSA, the Superior council of audio-visual, and especially that of the Authority of the competition.

Merger agreement validated by the personnel authorities

Isabelle de Silva, the president of the Authority, has also announced that a “market test” will be carried out at the start of the school year. The regulator seeks to determine the consequences of such a merger on the television advertising market: the new entity will indeed represent more than 30% of the audience in France, and three quarters of television advertising. The rights to acquire programs and sports broadcasts will also be scrutinized: there is no question that the dominant position of the future group will prevent any form of competition in all these areas.

The Competition Authority keeps an eye on the grain

If the merger comes to an end, Nicolas de Tavernost, the boss of M6, will become the CEO of the new entity. As for Gilles Pélisson, the CEO of TF1, he will become the deputy general manager of Bouygues in charge of the media. The Bouygues group got its hands on M6 by signing a check for 641 million euros to RTL Group, which its majority shareholder Bertelsmann had wanted to sell for a long time. Bouygues won the case against the Vivendi group, Xavier Niel (founder and boss of Free) and the Czech entrepreneur Daniel Kretinsky.