Social siege of M6 in Neuilly-sur-Seine.//URMAN_09570077/2011201703/Credit:Lionel Urman/SIPA/2011201708

Social siege of M6 in Neuilly-sur-Seine.//URMAN_09570077/2011201703/Credit:Lionel Urman/SIPA/2011201708 — Lionel Urman/GIRL

Heavy fine for Fun Radio. The music radio was sentenced to more than 10.3 million euros in damages for “unfair competition”, the plaintiffs and condemned announced on Tuesday. The case, judged on Monday by the Paris Commercial Court, dates back to 2015 and 2016.

After a historic audience record according to Médiamétrie for Fun Radio in the first quarter of 2016 (7.5%, +0.8 points), its competitor NRJ went to court to denounce a fraudulent practice. It consisted of the station’s star host, Bruno Guillon, encouraging listeners to respond that they listened to Fun Radio all day when they were contacted by a pollster.

Inflated audiences

“Take ten minutes. Why ? Because this person will ask you questions: what radio station did you listen to yesterday morning? You say Fun Radio. Hop! And afterwards, when you got home from work, what radio station did you listen to? I was listening to Fun Radio. And when you go to bed? I listened to Fun Radio”, he explained for example. These messages “had allowed Fun Radio to artificially increase its audiences, which had the effect of increasing its income to the detriment of the radios of the NRJ group in particular”, underlined NRJ in a press release Monday evening.

Fun Radio, which belonged to RTL at the time and today to the M6 ​​group, considered that there was no fraud. These messages were “spoken without any intention of manipulating the audience results, in the wake of a market practice that was widespread in the radio market at the material time”, according to Fun Radio.

The station claims a dismissal of the criminal proceedings launched after a complaint from NRJ. In March 2022, notes Fun Radio, the investigating judge had concluded that these messages “delivered in a humorous and spontaneous tone” did not fall under the law. After investigation, Médiamétrie had corrected the measurements of the first quarter of 2016, and had not included Fun Radio in that of the second quarter.

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