Posted 2/3/11 : French action group thinks it should
 
The former French gambling monopoly Pari-Mutuel Urbain (PMU) as been taken to task regarding its online corporate identity by the action group le Collectif Libre Choix (Free Choice Collective) at http://www.collectiflibrechoix.com/news.
 
The group counts online gambling companies like Zeturf among its members, and claims that a seperate online corporate identity is necessary in order to deny the PMU the advantages its previous monopoly status granted, thus levelling the internet gambling playing field in France.
 
The body said in a statement that experience has shown, particularly in the field of electricity and gas, that a well known and established brand and graphic identity constitutes a significant competitive advantage in the market, and in the case of the PMU this could result in a distortion of a competitive arena, making it virtually impossible for a newcomer, even at the cost of considerable communication efforts, to acquire a reputation and image rivaling those of a former state company, built over time and under the protection of a particularly lucrative monopoly.
 
Yann Genetay, spokesman for the le Collectif Libre Choix, said that not requiring a change in identity for online operations by former state monopolies in the [gambling] market opening up today was "economic nonsense."
 
"By not recognising the critical intangible asset that is a known brand, the competitive playing field is skewed and the proposed new companies almost nipped in the bud," he said. "That's why we continue to advocate that these serious abnormalities are addressed. We see this as one of the essential conditions for healthy competition, and fair benefit for the consumer. "