On 17 December 2019, the Arcep body responsible for settling disputes, legal proceedings and investigations (RDPI) adopted a Decision  on a provisional, six-month freeze on termination notices from publishers whose publications are distributed by the firm Presstalis, which was justified by the need to ensure continuity in the distribution of daily general interest and political newspapers.
The current public health crisis, combined with a declaration of suspension of payments by the firm Presstalis – which is particularly detrimental to smaller publishers – has led Arcep to lift the freeze on termination notices for independent publishers and groups whose cover price sales in 2019 totalled less than €5 million.
Print media distribution is currently having to contend with two simultaneous crises: the public health crisis caused by Covid-19 and the suspension of payments by Presstalis. To enable the smallest publishers to weather these circumstances, today Arcep’s RDPI body is publishing a decision that puts an early end – as of 12 May 2020 – to the freeze on terminations notices that has been in force since 19 December 2019, for Presstalis’s smallest client publishers.
This Decision applies:
- to publishers belonging to groups whose total cover price sales for publications distributed by the firm Presstalis were below 5 million euros in 2019;
- and to independent publishers from any group whose cover price sales for publications distributed by the firm Presstalis were below 5 million euros in 2019.
Arcep’s RDPI body also concluded that Presstalis cannot demand compliance with notice periods from those companies released from the freeze on termination notices by this Decision, regardless of whether or not these publishers had filed a termination notice when this Decision was adopted, and so enabling them to change distributors immediately, if they so desire.