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Shares in French TV group M6 slump after RTL scraps plan to sell stake

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PARIS (Reuters) – Shares in French TV company M6 slumped on Tuesday after Bertelsmann’s RTL Group scrapped a plan to sell its controlling stake in M6.

M6 shares were down 4.1 percent in early session trading.

Dropping the sale of RTL’s 48.3% stake in M6 means Bertelsmann will have to wait five years before considering any new bids for the French TV network, known for its high margins in a sector challenged by the competition of U.S. streaming platforms such as Netflix (NASDAQ:), Amazon (NASDAQ:) Prime and Disney+.

M6 will apply for a new five-year broadcast authorisation from May 2023. Once granted by France’s audiovisual authority, Arcom, it cannot change its controlling shareholder for that period of time, under French law.

RTL and Bouygues (EPA:), which is the parent group of France’s biggest private TV network TF1, ended a plan to merge M6 and TF1 into a national television champion last month, saying demands by the French competition authority made it unworkable.

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