The Bichet Act (Articles 3 para. 3, 12 and 19) stipulates the obligation for enterprises engaged in the business of grouped press distribution to obtain approval. In September 2021, the Arcep body responsible for investigations and legal proceedings (RDPI), opened an investigation into the firm New CCEI’s possible failure to comply with that obligation.
The investigation made it possible to ascertain that New CCEI business operations consist, in particular, of providing its customers with grouped press distribution services. Neither the nationality of New CCEI customers, nor the sub-contracting scheme the company has implemented to satisfy its customers’ needs, constitute a justification for exemption, provided for under the Bichet Act, from the obligation of approval that this same Act imposes on press distributors.
As a result, Arcep has issued the firm New CCEI with a notice to comply with the provisions of the Bichet Act and to apply for approval of its press distribution business, by 29 April 2022 at the latest.
- Arcep Decision No. 2022-0426-RDPI from the Regulatory Authority for Electronic Communications, Postal Affairs and Print Media Distribution of 24 February 2022 issuing a formal notice to the entity New CCEI to comply with its obligations to obtain approval for its grouped press distribution activities
 ARCEP’s Executive Board has three distinct bodies. The plenary body is composed of all seven members of the Executive Board. A body referred to in French as “RDPI”, composed of four of the seven of the Executive Board members, including the Chair, is responsible for investigations and legal proceedings (initiating a preliminary investigation procedure, issuing formal notices, notifying the statement of objections). Lastly, the so-called “restricted” body, which is composed of the three remaining members of the Arcep Board, is responsible for issuing rulings, which includes deciding whether or not to impose penalties.