Vodafone and Orange have submitted separate appeals in Spain’s High Court over the conditions of Telefónica’s acquisition of Canal+.
According to El Economista, they were filed before the deadline set by law for this type of case, which was June 30, and the High Court must now decide whether they are admissible and if Vodafone and Orange should file a formal complaint.
It adds that the regulator CNMC approved the acquisition of Canal+ by Telefónica last April, with competitors at that time emphasising that following the deal the incumbent would have an 85% share of Spain’s pay-TV market and 70% more customers.
However, the most controversial provisions of the deal approved by the CNMC related to premium content and prices.
According to the commitments accepted by the regulator, Telefónica’s competitors can access a maximum of 50% of the ‘premium’ channels that make up the group wholesale offer prices to ensure “replicability” and avoid situations of “narrowing margins”.
Now, Vodafone and Orange have asked the figure to be raised on an interim basis to 75%.
They have also expressed doubts about exclusivity periods.
Under CNMC’s terms, Telefónica will limit to three years the duration of its contracts for the acquisition of content and waive the rights of first refusal.
The competitors, on the other hand, have the exclusive exploitation of the content they acquire imited to two years and to certain types of broadcast windows.