The European Commission has put its review of the Vivendi-Canal Plus-Seagram merger on hold until the partners provide additional data.
Although the companies did not outline the issues raised, Vivendi and Canal Plus have stated that they are confident the required data could be filed by the end of August and that the European competition authorities' final decision could be expected by the end of September.
"This is actually good news as we seem to have a short agenda here, requiring only a "phase 1", which normally lasts only a month, and no "phase 2", which lasts four months, as is the case for the AOL/Time Warner deal," an insider told Screen International. "No major, or difficult issues have been raised. It is mostly precisions and clarifications regarding a variety of points which are required, as you can expect with such a massive and complex file."
The deal, which was announced June 21, has already cleared the French regulatory hurdle, on the condition that the French pay-TV channel - to be spun off as Canal Plus Programmes with Vivendi Universal holding a 49% stake - will still control its customer base, instead of merely handling programming and production activities.