EC launches investigation into Numericable

Pascale Paoli-Lebailly | 19-07-2013

The European Commission (EC) has launched an investigation into Numericable to examine French cable network transfers.

The EC wants to determine whether the transfer of French public cable infrastructure by some 33 municipalities in France to the cable television operator Numericable violated EU state aid rules.
The EU's executive Commission has said that since Numericable received the cable networks for free, the transfer gave the company a large economic advantage over its competitors.
"The Commission has doubts that such aid could be found compatible with EU rules. The transfers do not constitute a Service of General Economic Interest (SGEI) because France has entrusted no public service obligation to Numericable. Furthermore, these transfers do not appear to further any objective of common interest in a proportional manner, while they have a high potential of distorting competition with other operators in the same area," the EC said in a statement.
The transfer from the municipalities occurred between 2003 and 2006. Numericable owns 99.6% of France's cable network.