Media Fortune Fame & Folly

France TV merger?

Bertelsmann, of Germany, has been reviewing its TV interests in France. Earlier this year, the company was inviting bidders for it 48% stake in French broadcaster M6. The company was aiming for a €3bn valuation. The Bertelsmann CEO Thomas Rabe is now voicing support for a merger with market leader TF1, (M6 is no. 2). TF1 is owned by Bouygues. Media market regulation in Europe may prove challenging but Rabe, is an advocate of consolidation as a necessary defence against digital streamers. The combined entity would take a potentially prohibitive 71% share of TV advertising but only a 16% share of all advertising – if regulators can be persuaded of the case for widening the terms of measurement. Mmm.