AGCom to investigate Vivendi’s Mediaset dealings

Italy’s comms watchdog, the Autorità per le Garanzie nelle Comunicazioni (AGCom), has confirmed that it is to open an investigation into French media group Vivendi’s shareholdings in Italian broadcaster Mediaset.

Mediaset had sought the Authority’s intervention submitting a complaint to AGCom highlighting the “illegality” of Vivendi’s conduct which it contended was in violation of sector regulations, in particular, of Art. 43, para. 11 of the Consolidated Law concerning audio-visual and radio services, as well as posing a potential obstacle to Mediaset’s development strategies as a result of the cross-ownership overlap Italy’s telco incumbent, Telecom, determined by Vivendi’s actions.

The commencement of the investigation will be notified to interested parties pursuant to Regulation and subsequently published on the Authority’s website.

Vivendi confirmed December 20 that it had crossed the 20 per cent and 25 per cent thresholds of the Mediaset share capital and later announced that it owns 28.80 per cent of the Mediaset share capital and 29.94 per cent of the voting rights as of December 22, 2016.

On December 19 Vivendi had announced its intention to increase its investment in Mediaset by acquiring additional shares depending on market conditions within the limits of 30 per cent of the share capital and voting rights, suggesting that its presence in the Mediaset equity was in line with the Group’s intention to develop its activities in Southern Europe and its strategic ambitions as a major international, European-based, media and content group.

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