Mediaset sues over cancelled DTT “beauty contest”

The Italian government’s decision to cancel the “beauty contest”, which would have given away a free digital TV multiplex frequency to existing broadcasters, has led Mediaset to initiate legal action.

According to reports, Elettronica Industriale (100 per cent owned by RTI – Mediaset Group) on June 14 filed an appeal with the Lazio Regional Court, seeking the annulment of law 44 of April 26, which cancelled the “beauty contest”. Mediaset had announced possible legal action back in January.

The Italian government has set a 120-day deadline after the entry into force of Law 44 to prepare the new frequency auction rules, a responsibility of the Communications Authority (AgCom). The expectation is that some €1.2 billion could be earned for the state coffers.

The main unknown factor, at this point, is related to the appeal by Mediaset. However, there are also time constraints and the uncertainty of the other bidders. Pubcaster RAI is on hold, Sky Italia seems determined to get back in the race, while telecom operators at this moment seem unlikely to take part.

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