The French Competition Authority applies a "rule of reason analysis" to an abuse of dominant position in the press advertising sector (La Provence Group)

The La Provence group owns the two main regional daily newspapers distributed in Marseille (Southern France) namely Le Provençal and Le Méridional. The two newspapers transferred the exclusive responsibility for managing local advertising to Eurosud Publicité ; however, the commercial policy was drawn up by the newspapers. The plaintiffs, managers of movie theatres in Marseille, alleged that La Provence group engaged in two anti-competitive practices. They, first, argued that there was a tied sale of advertising space in Le Provençal and Le Méridional, and, secondly, that the La Provence group made the daily inclusion of the Marseille cinema programmes in its newspapers conditional on the purchase of advertising space in the weekly supplements of its two daily newspapers. Consequently,

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