TF1 and M6 will inform the authority of their response within the next three weeks, with hearings to take place before the board on 5th and 6th September. The parties announced they “do not intend to make any changes” to the merger plans.
The board’s rejection of the deal would also kill the pair’s plans to take control of Salto, the SVOD service they created alongside public service broadcaster France Télévisions. The PSB asked to divest its share in Salto upon learning of the proposed merger.
As VideoWeek reported in March, France Télévisions’ decision is contingent on the completion of the deal. Otherwise the SVOD platform will remain jointly owned by all three companies.
Since the consolidation of these two TV businesses is designed to combat the rise of streaming giants in the region, the commercial takeover of Salto forms a key part of the strategy by giving the merged entity its own streaming service.
But the merger was always conditional for the French broadcasters. After the plan was announced last year, TF1 Chairman and CEO Gilles Pélisson said the companies would reject any demands from the watchdog to sell either of their flagship channels.