Decision 14-D-04 of 25 February 2014 related to practices implemented in the sector of online horse betting.
By decision 14-D-04 of 25 February 2014 relating to practices implemented in the sector of online horse betting, the French Competition Authority makes the PMU separate its online horse betting activity from that of its network of physical outlets over which it has a monopoly. This commitment will thus allow all operators to be able to compete on equal terms on the PMU. fr website, and consumers will also benefit from a diverse and renewed online offer.
This decision follows a complaint filed in early 2012 by the company Betclic Everest Group. The operator of online games (horse bets, sports bets, poker) complained in particular of the fact that the PMU, which has had a legal monopoly on horse betting through agents since 1930, pools these types of bets with those that it records on its online horse betting website. The PMU would thus considerably enhance the attractiveness of its online horse betting offer by offering much higher profits than its competitors, such that it would threaten their existence. The market for online horse betting (eight operators) is dominated by the PMU, which boasted a market share of 85% in 2013.
For the French Competition Authority, the PMU is pooling all of the bets recorded online and through agents into a single mass of stakes thereby allowing it to present an offer of bets that are both more secure (due to the greater stability of the odds compared to the number of bets placed) and more attractive (luring in bettors by offering larger profits).
Because PMU. fr's competitors do not have the advantage of such a monopoly on betting through agents, they are not in a position to present such an attractive offer. The PMU's practice of pooling its mass of online bets and bets made through agents was therefore likely to present a risk of marginalisation, wiping out its online competitors, in addition to the possibility to creating a barrier which would prevent them from entering the market of online horse betting.