European Regulator Halts Canal Plus Inquiry

21 March 2003

European competition watchdogs have suspended a long-running inquiry into French pay-TV giant Canal Plus.

The European Commission has been investigating Vivendi Universal-owned Canal for several months. At issue are long-term exclusive deals with US movie studios that the EC believes may be anti-competitive.

It was feared Canal could limit competition by controlling premium content. But the probe has been halted after the broadcaster’s rival, TPS, forged agreements of its own with American film makers.

Competition commissioner Mario Monti must now decide whether to drop the inquiry altogether. One option may be to keep it suspended but not cancel it, in order to encourage good behaviour by Canal and TPS.

Data sourced from: Financial Times; additional content by WARC staff