On 29 March 2022, the Belgian Competition Authority approved under conditions the acquisition by groups DPG Media NV and Rossel & Cie of joint control RTL Belgium SA, Audiopresse SA, New Contact SA, Radio H SA, RTL BELux SA and RTL BELux SA & Cie SECS and indirectly of IPB, Inadi SA and Cobelfra SA.
The target includes three French speaking TV channels, several radio channel, a streaming service and an information site.
Due to the market power of the companies at stake, the notification filing was submitted to a full assessment of the Belgian Competition Authority and could not benefit from a simplified procedure.
The transaction valorized at 250 million EUR was motivated by the intention of the German shareholder to concentrate its activities in Germany following the intense competition of streaming platforms (Netflix, Amazon, Disney+, Spotify, etc.).
This operation is a clear sign of the consolidation of the media sector while it is the first time in Belgium that press groups acquire TV channels. The main issue of the operation is indeed the advertising revenues.
In that respect, the acquirers proposed commitments to the Competition College regarding the markets for the sale of advertising space on national radio channels in the Flemish Region and for radio programs and broadcasting services of national radio freely accessible to end users in the Flemish Region.
The Belgian Competition Authority considered that those commitments were sufficient in order to authorize the concentration.
A trustee will be appointed to monitor compliance with the commitments.