As with Mediaset, the court paralyzes the fine of 38 million, but activates ‘de facto’ the supervision process of the CNMC.

As with Mediaset, the court paralyzes the fine of 38 million, but activates ‘de facto’ the supervision process of the CNMC.

As with Mediaset, the court paralyzes the fine of 38 million, but activates ‘de facto’ the supervision process of the CNMC.

Headquarters of the Atresmedia group, in a file image.

Like Mediaset, Atresmedia has lost the first round of the battle waged by the television network against the fine issued by the National Commission of Markets and Competition (CNMC) for anti-competitive practices in the marketing of television advertising.

As stated in the car to which he has had access investedthe National audience has rejected the precautionary measures requested by the television group at the end of 2019 and which requested paralyze the execution of a series of conditions imposed by Competition to limit the advertising control that both Mediaset What Atresmedia they made from the market.

The car is traced to the one published a month ago by this newspaper and referred to Mediasetsince the resource of this chain was processed separately from that of Atresmedia albeit with nearly identical features. In the case of this last chain, the Court considers that it is not appropriate to suspend the cessation of the conduct as requested by the television network.

With this, the National Commission of Markets and Competition (CNMC) has a free hand to activate the formal supervision of the commercial practices of Atresmedia and Mediaset and monitor whether, effectively, these two audiovisual groups are complying with the new rules that established by the regulator in its November ruling of last year.

Almost a year has passed, but until now the CNMC had preferred to be prudent and not make a move, waiting for the precautionary measures requested before the National High Court by these two networks to be resolved. Mediaset and Atresmedia They requested the suspension of the specifications and a fine of 77 million (38 million for each group) for anti-competitive practices in the advertising market.

three month term

Before, the CNMC had requested termination of packaged commercial practices in the commercialization of its channels, advertising in simulcastestablishment of extra premiums and the end of contracting advertising conditioned to volume. Therefore, they will have to stop applying the extra premiums, the group sales quotas and the single guideline (although this had already ceased).

According to the CNMC resolution, the two channels were obliged to modify this commercial strategy within three months, to submit to a surveillance system that would supervise the advertising run of the two channels and to assume the sanction. When the CNMC activates surveillance –already has the judicial backing of the National Court- these chains will have a quarter to modify their practices.

In addition to the non-application of the CNMC conditions, the two networks requested the suspension of their fines. In this sense, the order to which this newspaper has had access -and which refers only to the request for precautionary measures- indicates that the execution of the fine is suspended and, in exchange, the chain will provide a guarantee of 38 million that will be executed in the event that you lose the final resource.

All this notwithstanding that the appeal of the two networks before the National audience against the Competence file continues its course. The process could take more than five years, since there is also the possibility of appealing the file before the supreme court. However, without precautionary measures, supervision can already be carried out.

In any case, now the clock is ticking again and the CNMC will be able to start its supervision process in the coming weeks. In the two chains they maintain that these practices have not been carried out for months, but so far and despite the ruling, have not been subject to any effective control by the regulator.

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