The National Commission of Markets and Competition (CNMC) prepares to activate formal oversight of the business practices of Atresmedia and Mediaset and monitor whether, effectively, these two audiovisual groups are complying with the new rules established by the regulator in its ruling of November 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.
invested reported a week ago that Mediaset lost the appeal before the National High Court, despite the fact that the body suspended the application of the fine. In the car to which this newspaper had access, it was indicated that no CNMC measure was suspended, those that should be applied, despite the fact that the regulator’s ruling is being appealed as a whole and in another instance.
In this way, and with the green light of the National audience In the case of Mediaset, the regulator awaits Atresmedia’s ruling – they are processed in separate files – scheduled for the coming weeks and thus activate all its springs and control mechanisms.
Sources familiar with the process tell this newspaper that everything indicates that the Court will rule in the same direction as Mediaset, so The precautionary measures requested by the editor of Antena 3 would also be rejected.
As for Mediaset, the Court considers that it is not appropriate to suspend the cessation of the conduct as requested by the television network. In this way, must comply with the requirements of the CNMC and implement the required changes.
According to the CNMC resolution, the two chains were obliged to modify their commercial strategy within three months; to submit to a surveillance system that would supervise the advertising campaign of the two channels, and to assume a total penalty that rose to 77.1 million euros.
However, the clock was stopped by the presentation of the appeals for Atresmedia and Mediaset, requesting the suspension of the sentence. The two groups wanted to avoid that the execution of this sentence could cause damage “impossible to repair” if the courts finally annulled it in a process that could take more than four years.
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.
long legal war
On the contrary, as market sources have confirmed to this newspaper, the relationship of the two giants with media agencies and advertisers has not changed substantially since the CNMC ruling in November last year.
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.