France Passes New Tax on Resale of DTT Channels

A brand-new “Bollore amendment” was approved by the French Senate.

France’s senate has passed a new law: a five percent tax on the resale of digital terrestrial TV channels awarded for free by Gallic broadcast regulator the CSA. It's called the "Bollore amendment," in reference to French media giant the Bollore group, which sold its free-to-air networks Direct 8 and Direct Star to pay TV group Canal Plus.

The Bollore group is expected to make around 450 million euros ($565 million) from the deal. The law was spearheaded by the socialist party's David Assouline.

On Monday, France's Competition Authority gave the green light for Canal Plus’ takeover of Direct 8 and Direct Star, but imposed several restrictions aimed to lessen the group’s monopoly over the country’s national TV landscape and give other networks the chance to establish competition on the marketplace.

The decision was a major one in Gaul since it marks the pay TV group’s first foray into free-to-air TV which will certainly change France’s media landscape as will a tax on any resale of the increasingly popular DTT channels.

Canal Plus will officially take over Direct Star and Direct 8 pending CSA intervention in September.