The Competition Council accepts commitments proposed by the Press distribution market leader

27 May 2008

Romain Ferla

Following complaints in relation to access to information on a system for press distribution, the Competition Council has accepted commitments from the distribution market leader to provide information directly on the system as well as improving access conditions.

In August 2003, the Competition Council received a complaint by the “Messageries Lyonnaises de presse” (“MLP”). MLP complained that, since the “Nouvelles Messageries de la Presse Parisienne” (“NMPP”) refused to grant direct automated access to their Presse 2000 system, wholesale press agents were forced to capture manually on Presse 2000 the information given by MLP's own IT system.

In its preliminary assessment of competition concerns, which are the first stage of a commitment procedure, the Competition Council pointed out that, when it was launched in 1992-1993, the Presse 2000 system had been presented as a common initiative from distributors and press agents, allowing them to manage the distribution of all newspapers and magazines at the same level of competition.

The Council found that, the refusal by NMPP to grant MLP direct access to the Presse 2000 system may lead to capturing errors and service disruptions, and a discriminatory management of the newspapers concerned. The Competition Council also stressed the fact that, for efficiency reasons, the setting up by MLP of their own system at the level of press agents could not be envisaged.

In order to respond to the competition concerns expressed by the Competition Council, the NMPP committed to allow the direct transfer of information relating to the newspapers distributed by MLP into the Presse 2000 system. The Competition Council considered that these commitments are likely to remove the identified competition concerns. However, prior to accepting the commitments and closing the procedure, the Council ordered NMPP to improve the access conditions offered to MLP, to make sure that they do not entail technical nor financial impediments.

Source: Decision of the Competition Council No 08-D-04 of February 25, 08