The merger of French broadcasters TF1 and M6 has been abandoned.
In the past few minutes, the channel’s owners have said the pair have called off the plan after appearing in front of the French Competition Authority earlier this month.
“Following the debates with the Authority and despite the additional remedies proposed, it appears that only structural remedies involving at the very least the divestment of the TF1 TV channel or of the M6 TV channel would be sufficient to approve the proposed merger,” they said. “The parties have therefore concluded that the proposed merger no longer has any strategic rationale.”
The statement came from owners Bouygues and the RTL Group.
They went on to criticize the competition authority for “failing to take into account the speed and extend of the changes sweeping through the French broadcasting sector.”
“We continue to firmly believe that a merger of the TF1 and M6 groups would have provided an appropriate response to the challenges resulting from the increased competition from the international platforms,” they added.
Many will be pleased with the outcome however, including broadcasting and production rivals who had feared for cannibalization with the merged group taking such a share of the overall advertising market.