August 21, 2012 / 3:32 PM / 5 years ago

France to study merger of broadcast, telco regulators

PARIS, Aug 21 (Reuters) - France's Socialist government said it would study proposals to merge its broadcast and telecom regulators with a decision on whether changes were needed to be made after late November.

The move, which has been floated in the past but never undertaken, would potentially shake up how large companies like France Telecom, Vivendi and TF1 are regulated.

Currently, the telecoms regulator ARCEP oversees telecom operators, making key decisions on mobile licences and broadband policy, while the CSA oversees France's TV and radio channels with a particular mission to protect French culture and freedom of speech.

Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault on Tuesday asked three ministers to study whether the CSA and ARCEP should be merged to keep up with the rapid technology changes transforming how content is distributed and consumed.

"The ministers will submit their conclusions to the prime minister before the end of November and propose any needed regulatory changes or legislation," the statement said. (Reporting by Leila Abboud)

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