French competition council examines ISPs' TV deals

The French government has asked the Competition Council to look at exclusive TV content deals between media companies and ISPs, which adversely affect Orange's (the incumbent's) sports and film channels.

The Ministry of the Economy has called on the competition authority to re-examine the impact of exclusive TV broadcasting rights, pay service and channel distribution rights.

The government statement says the Council could determine if, and under what conditions, exclusive arrangements reinforce anti-competitive effects, notably by strengthening the position of a dominant ISP.

The government's request for the Competition Council's opinion follows a national assembly amendment to the TV bill in December that was intended to end exclusivity agreements between media companies and telecoms operators.

The competition council is expected to consult media regulator CSA and telecom watchdog Arcep before reaching any conclusions.