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Le Nouvel Obs to Change Hands

Pierre Bergé, Xavier Niel and Matthieu Pigasse are to control the French newsweekly.

OBSERVATION DECK: Pierre Bergé, along with Xavier Niel and Matthieu Pigasse, have gotten the green light to add another title to their burgeoning media portfolio.
 
The triumvirate can become the new owners of French newsweekly Le Nouvel Observateur, according to France’s competition authority on Thursday.
 
The organization decided that their taking control of the publication via their company Le Monde Libre poses no monopoly risk.
 
The trio also owns titles including Le Monde, Télérama and Courrier International, and Pigasse is the owner of Les Éditions Indépendentes, publisher of Les Inrockuptibles magazine and its Web site.
 
“The authority considered that the operation was not likely to impair competition in so far as the combined market share of the parts remains limited in all the magazine markets,” it stated. “The new group will furthermore continue to face major competitors, such as L’Express-Roularta, Le Point, Le Figaro, Lagardère Active, Prima Media or Marianne.”
 
It is understood the Bergé-Niel-Pigasse trio could be interested in taking over the struggling French daily Libération, as well, were it to be on the block.