Italian Court Delivers Judgement on Vivendi-Mediaset Dispute – Report

An Italian administrative court has ruled in favour of Vivendi regarding its ownership stake in Mediaset, thereby annulling the Italian Communications Regulatory Authority’s (AGCOM) 2017 judgement that Vivendi’s actions were anti-competitive, according to Reuters.

French media giant, Vivendi (VIVHY), and the Italian broadcaster run by Silivio Berlusconi’s family, Mediaset, have been embroiled in a lengthy legal battle since 2016 after Vivendi scrapped an agreement to buy Mediaset’s pay-TV unit and instead acquired a 29% stake in Mediaset, a move that the Italian group considers hostile.

AGCOM ruled in 2017 that Vivendi’s stake in Mediaset was anti-competitive and Vivendi was forced to transfer two thirds of its voting rights in Mediaset into a trust, reducing its voting rights to only 10%.

Vivendi has been trying to regain full voting rights for its share of Mediaset after a favourable ruling by the European Union’s top court in September. The matter was further discussed in a hearing on December 16 and the Italian administrative court has ruled in favour of Vivendi, thereby annulling the previous ruling which capped Vivendi’s ownership stake.

Mediaset has so far declined to comment on the ruling but an anonymous legal source has said that Mediaset is likely to appeal the decision.

A spokesman for Vivendi said that the company is satisfied with the ruling as the restrictions imposed on Vivendi were “unlawful” since Vivendi had not violated any Italian media laws. (See VIVHY stock analysis on TipRanks)

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