On June 9, 2023, following an in-depth investigation, the Commission approved Vivendi’s acquisition of Lagardère (the “Transaction”), subject to divestment conditions.
Vivendi and Lagardère are French global media and entertainment groups. Vivendi and Lagardère thus carry out activities such as book publishing, magazines, audiovisual content, press and radio, video games or advertising.
Vivendi notified the Transaction to the Commission on October 24, 2022, and the Commission opened an in-depth investigation on November 30, 2022.
The case team’s main concern was that both Vivendi (through Editis) and Lagardère (through Hachette Livre) were active on the entire book publishing value chain, from the acquisition of book publishing rights to the sale of books to retailers. Based on the extensive information and feedback from numerous market participants (including authors, editors, and book retailers) gathered during its in-depth review, the case team was concerned that the Transaction may strengthen Vivendi and Lagardère’s position in the book publishing sector in EEA French-speaking countries.
The case team also raised concerns regarding the Transaction’s potential impact in the French-speaking celebrity press magazine sector in EEA French-speaking countries.
Commission approval decision
To address the Commission’s competition concerns, Vivendi offered a remedy package consisting in the divestment of Vivendi’s publishing business in France (Editis) and of Vivendi’s celebrity press magazine (Gala). These remedies, which will be monitored by an independent monitoring trustee, were approved by the Commission in its June 9, 2023 clearance decision.
The Commission will have to approve the acquirer of the divested business before the Parties can close the Transaction.
 Commission Press Release IP/23/3136, “Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of Lagardère by Vivendi, subject to conditions,” June 9, 2023.