Canal+, Orange deal questionned in Brussels....

Pascale Paoli-Lebailly ©RapidTVNews | 22-11-2011

Canal+ and Orange saga about the acquisition by Vivendi's subs of 33.3% stake in telco's channel Orange Cinéma séries is undergoing new developments.
According to daily La Tribune, Brussels would not agree with the advanced project. European Commissioner for Competition Joaquin Almunia has not taken any decision yet but complementary questions have been requested by his offices to both French partners.
The disagreement point is related to Orange cinéma series programming. The five different channels would keep buying programs by themselves but would be prevented from spending more than €65M vs €83M in 2010. Such a threshold would avoid them to compete with Canal+ to get exclusive Tv rights like what happened in the past with studios and networks such as HBO. Almunia's services would assimilate such a power for Canal+ as a co-control. The taking of a 33.3 % stake would then be considered as an alliance and need to be given green light by the competion authorities. Engagements would inevitably be assorted to any decision. That's the plan Canal+ wanted to avoid . Both partners consider Canal+'power in Orange channels will be minor and won't get any co-control.
The survival of this project, that at the end could be fully abandoned, is now depending from Brussels analysis.
Canal+, Orange, Orange cinéma séries