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Mediaset, Sky Italia plot pay-TV alliance

Italian broadcasters Mediaset and Sky Italia are negotiating a pay-TV alliance that could create a monopoly in the sector.

According to Italian daily Corriere della Sera, the talks are underway and the first draft of a deal foresees a JV company, majority-owned by Sky Italia and with Mediaset below 50 per cent. The pay-TV activities of the two groups, which together have 7.2 million subscribers, would be transferred to the JV company.

Italy’s Antitrust Authority will have to rule on the alliance, but informal contacts have already started to evaluate the possible effects and conditions that could be imposed for approving the deal.

Meanwhile, the Antitrust Authority and Italy’s financial police have searched the offices of Mediaset and Sky Italia in an investigation of a possible rights cartel regarding the sale of Serie A football rights (see separate story). In a statement, the Authority said it never authorised any agreement distorting competition on TV rights for the 2015-2018 seasons.

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