Paris, 7th February 2012
ARCEP is submitting its analysis of the impact of regulation governing the wholesale terrestrial broadcasting services market during the 2009-2012 cycle, and the outlook for this regulation for the period running from 2012 to 2015.
The cycle now coming to an end was marked by the large-scale deployment of the digital terrestrial television (DTT) system across the country, and the switch-off of analogue broadcasting. To meet the coverage targets set for DTT channels (grouped in multiplexes) in the areas defined by broadcasting authority, CSA, broadcasters will be employing alternative facilities (towers and other infrastructure) and facilities belonging to the incumbent operator, TDF. To this end, ARCEP has imposed an obligation for TDF to provide access its facilities and to a range of associated solutions, under terms that have already been set.
The document being submitted to consultation is part of a longer market analysis process that will help redefine regulatory principles. The purpose is to obtain feedback from market players' on:
- ARCEP's quantitative and qualitative assessment of the previous regulatory cycle (2009-2012), particularly with respect to the state of competition;
- determining the scope of the relevant markets for ex ante regulation during the coming cycle (2012-2015), and whether any undertaking(s) enjoy significant market power (SMP).
The Authority's analysis reveals that TDF continues be the SMP operator in this market, and that a number of constraints continue to impede the development of competition - particularly alternative players' ability to replicate infrastructure. These alternative operators have nonetheless managed to gain a foothold in the DTT broadcasting market, and their offers are having a noticeable effect: clear decrease in prices, especially when facilities-based competition exists.
As a result, ARCEP is proposing to continue regulating this market, along with guidelines for implementation modalities. It invites stakeholders to provide details of their expectations in this area. The goal is to establish modalities that satisfy alternative broadcasters' current needs, without increasing the obligations weighing on the incumbent operator unnecessarily.
Responses to the consultation must reach ARCEP by 7th March 2012.
ARCEP also plans on launching a public consultation on its draft analysis of this market in April 2012, which will provide specific details of the planned regulatory modalities. The final decision on the upcoming regulatory cycle for the wholesale terrestrial broadcasting services market regulation should be adopted in late June 2012.
The public consultation (pdf - 6.08 Mo) (in French only)