Orange finds ally in CSA

By Julian Clover

The CSA is reportedly leaning towards the ADSL provider Orange in the current inquiry before the Paris Tribunal of Commerce.

Vivendi, Canal + and Free had filed a complaint against the France Telecom-owned operator, accusing it of bundling its ADSL service with its Orange Sport and Cinema Series channels.

According to Le Figaro, the regulator is aware that Orange Sport is the only case of channel exclusivity in the French market, but believes that Orange has developed the strategy because of the lack of access to the distribution channels controlled by Canal+.

In a comparison of the markets, the CSA found that Orange has a market share of 19% compared to 54% for Canal. It says the 300,000 subscribers to Orange Sport and Orange Cinema series are insignificant.

Le Figaro says that Free and SFR have failed to provide evidence of the impact on their own subscriber levels since the launch of the Orange channels and that SFR’s 150,000 gain in the fourth quarter is not evidence of anti-competiveness.