"The risks persist." The National Market and Competition Commission (CNMC) maintains most of the commitments that it imposed on Telefónica for the purchase of Canal +, through a three-year extension to the conditions associated with the authorization of that operation in 2015.
The operator is obliged today to make available to its competitors (for example the Vodafone or Orange television platform) all of its Movistar + channels considered premium , so that these rivals can buy up to 50 % of signals offered . Soccer, Formula 1, Moto GP, Olympic Games, series channels or film premieres are therefore available to other platforms that have not paid for the rights and that can exploit them on their own platforms by purchasing the corresponding Movistar + channel. Telefónica can present allegations to the declaration of this extension, a response that it is already studying, as explained by company spokesmen to EL MUNDO.
For example, Vodafone has given up on football, understanding that it is not profitable, but it does resort to fiction, cinema and Movistar series; while Orange buys series and maintains its interest in the soccer rights that Telefónica manages and that the operator of French origin also presents in its offer.
With the measure released this Friday by the CNMC, the conditions extend to its maximum duration : eight years. When the purchase of DTS (Canal +) by the multinational company then chaired by César Alierta was approved in 2015, the "commitments under surveillance" lasted five years, until 2020, but the possibility of establish an extension of three others that has finally been applied. As of today, José María-Alvarez Pallete chairs Telefónica, while Sergio Oslé is in charge of Movistar +, dependent on the operator.
An operation of more than 700 million
The acquisition materialized at a price of more than 700 million euros, after marking 750 million and calculating some depreciations. For that amount, Telefónica acquired 56% of Canal + , with which it went on to control the entire DTS call, since it already had the remaining 44%.
"Telefónica continues to have market power in pay television, as well as the notable growth in the proportion of clients whose pay television services are packaged with other electronic communications services," argues the CNMC, which has recently become president by Cani Fernández.
Two transfers to Movistar
The CNMC itself has made two commitments that are saved from the extension. One is the exclusive acquisition of video-on-demand content by subscription (SVOD), which Telefónica can now carry out without limitations. The Competition authority considers that for Telefónica the "purchasing power has been eroded in relation to the situation analyzed in 2015. Such circumstance justifies the elimination of the commitment that limited in terms of exclusivity, period of validity and period of exploitation". Indeed, in these five years, numerous rivals have developed in this regard, such as Netflix, HBO, Amazon Prime Video or Disney +.
Likewise, the CNMC will already allow Telefónica to vary the conditions of its contracts with third-party channels, which until now had to adhere to the terms established in each negotiation in 2015, without Telefónica being able to carry out reviews in consideration of the performance of each of those channels. . "This is done with the aim of attending to possible variations regarding the content of said channels or their attractiveness to customers," the Competition authority has resolved.
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