TF1, M6: radio, the other sensitive subject of the merger

Lois Larges The biggest wedding in the history of the small screen is also turning the radio upside down. The merger announced between the M6 ​​group and TF1 will also strengthen their power on the FM band. The first owns the largest private player in France, RTL, while the second, even if it is not directly present in this sector, has managed the advertising department of Indés Radio for more than twelve years. This economic interest grouping (EIG) brings together 96 stations and claims the leading position in France with 7.8 million listeners every day. There is Sud Radio, Oui FM, Alouette, Jazz Radio, Mélodie…

“ We are independent from a capitalistic point of view of the media groups and are satisfied with the service provided by TF1 Publicité, explains to Capital its president Jean-Éric Valli. As a client of this management, we do not have to serve as a bargaining chip in the announced merger. We are a special player in the radio landscape and we must guarantee our stability in the territories ”.

A justified fear. Because this merger between the two PAF giants will be analyzed by the Competition Authority (ADLC) under the Commercial Code. It stipulates, as the institution recalls, that a market is affected by a takeover between two entities if “their combined shares reach 14 % or more”. This is the case in the radio sector. The GIE des Indés had a national advertising market share of 17% in 2021 according to raw data from Kantar. If we add to this, the power of M6 with RTL (10, 3%), RTL 2 (6.1%) and Fun Radio (4.6%), the cumulative percentage reached 40% on a national level.

“The merger between TF1 and M6 will create negative effects, worries the head of a competing audiovisual group. Because, if we only look at the market of listeners aged 25 years and over, preferred target of advertisers, the new set would even exceed the 96%”.

If the marriage were to take place, some opponents wish to ask the Competition Authority, as a condition for these weddings, the outright termination of the contract between the Indés and TF1.The GIE recorded a turnover of 140 million euros in 4726 falling from 10,2% due to the pandemic . Of this total amount, the Bouygues subsidiary is only responsible for national management, i.e. 87,8 million euros (-5.1%). The balance is made up of local advertising (52,2 million euros). This activity, much more severely affected by the health crisis (-15%) with the closure of certain local shops during the confinements, is taken care of directly by the members of the Indés Radios. In fact, the dependence on the front page therefore increased during the Covid years.

If this partnership were to stop, the competitors could then recover the management of the Indés management which allows them to receive a commission of 14% of revenue collected, i.e. potentially more than 12 million euros per year. Something to whet appetites.

Gross radio advertising market shares (2021)Chart made with Flourish Receive our latest news Every morning, the information to remember about the financial markets.