11:09 a.m., September 29, 2022
After the failure of the merger project with TF1, the German group Bertelsmann would, according to information from the “Point”, received three takeover offers for its 48% of the M6 channel. Now that the offers have been submitted, they will have to be examined, for the sake of competition. It will take a long time. So much so that the president of Arcom believes that the schedule is “extremely tight”.
The sale of M6 must take place before May 2023, the date on which the authorization to broadcast the channel must be renewed by Arcom. The law provides that the shareholder can then no longer change for five years. This therefore leaves less than eight months for the sale to be made. Except that such a sale does not come easily.
“I’m not saying it can’t be done”
The sale is all the more complex as these are very large potential buyers, all of whom already have a foothold in the media. The review could be done by the European Commission. The latter could refer the file to the French Competition Authority, which would already lengthen the deadlines. “I’m not saying it’s not feasible but it’s very tense,” said Benoit Coeuré, the president of the Competition Authority, before the senators.
“The schedule is extremely tight”
But that’s not all, the sale must also be examined by Arcom. And it will take a long time. This is what the president of Arcom, Roch-Olivier Maistre made clear to the senators on Wednesday. “The timetable is ultra tight, but it is still doable. The timetable is extremely tight. I am really extremely clear to you. I say it here very clearly, the call for applications process sets a countdown that makes things extremely tight. It’s extremely tight, more than tight,” he said.
Roch-Olivier Maistre is therefore not very optimistic. Note that he specified that the Arcom had not yet been seized. He answered questions from senators, based on information disclosed by the press.