In a reversal of the current ‘beauty parade’ licensing plan, Italy has confirmed it will now auction off to the highest bidder its six remaining digital terrestrial frequencies – as first reported here on December 12th. Italy’s technocrat Prime Minister Mario Monti has decided to support an opposition parliamentary move to hold an auction.
The decision, which needs a governmental decree to get onto the statute books, saw former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi declare that no one should bid for the new licenses, which had been expected to be automatically awarded to public broadcaster RAI and Berlusconi’s own Mediaset broadcasting operation.
Telecom Italia CEO Franco Bernabe is also taking a ‘no bid’ stance. Telecom Italia controls the La7 channel.