In October 2014, the French Competition Authority (“FCA”) cleared the €17 billion acquisition of SFR by Numericable, a subsidiary of Altice Group, subject to remedies, after a Phase II investigation. The transaction combined the second-largest mobile and broadband services operator in France, SFR, with the main French cable operator, Numericable.
Compass Lexecon provided economic support to the parties during the Phase I and Phase II investigations by the FCA. We submitted several papers to the FCA assessing, among other things, the FCA’s analyses of (i) the impact of the transaction on markets for broadband services, in particular on the segment for superfast broadband services, (ii) the closeness of competition of the parties’ broadband services in overseas departments, and (iii) bidding data on the market for communication services for business customers. Numericable offered remedies to address the FCA’s concerns. In particular, to address concerns regarding the superfast broadband segment, Numericable offered to provide wholesale access to its cable network, with a bitstream offer available to rival Internet access providers.
Compass Lexecon’s team included Valérie Meunier, Jorge Padilla and Jaime Coronado who supported the parties’ legal advisers, Julie Catala-Marty of Bird & Bird and Jerôme Michel of Franklin Société d’avocats.