Vivendi appeals Agcom ruling over TIM stake

By:
James Pearce
Published on:

Reports claim that French media firm Vivendi has launched legal action against regulators in Italy after they ordered it to choose between Telecom Italia and Mediaset

Vivendi has launched an appeal against a ruling from Italian regulators that found it had breached regulations on ownership, reports claim.

The French media firm filed an appeal after the Autorità per le Garanzie nelle Comunicazioni (Agcom) ruled in April that it cannot maintain large stakes in both Telecom Italia and broadcasting firm Mediaset.

Agcom ruled against Vivendi in April, ordering the firm to cut its stake in either Telecom Italia, of which it owns 24%, or Vivendi, of which it owns 28.8%. According to a Financial Times report, Vivendi filed an appeal on 16 June against the ruling.

Vivendi has previously threatened legal action, claiming it “neither controls nor exercises dominant influence on Mediaset”, which is ran by former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s family firm Fininvest. Fininvest owns a 39.5% stake in Mediaset.

Vivendi has been strengthening its position in Telecom Italia, having earlier this month taken control of the Italian incumbent’s board, appointing CEO Arnaud de Puyfontaine as chairman.

The French firm has overcome one regulatory challenge, however, with European regulators approving its takeover of TIM if it sells Persidera, an Italian broadcasting company.

Vivendi is also locked in its own legal spat with Mediaset after the former ditched an agreement to take control of a stake in pay TV unit Mediaset Premium.

Mediaset took full control of Premium earlier this week, buying Telefonica’s 11.1% share in the company for an undisclosed amount.

Reuters claims that Telefonica could be in line for a payout should Mediaset win its €1.5 billion case against Vivendi.