Published: Thu, April 20, 2017
Electronics | By Jesus Weaver

Vivendi mulls complaint to EU Commission after Italy regulator decision

Vivendi mulls complaint to EU Commission after Italy regulator decision

But Giordani did not say whether the decision by the watchdog and its consequent request to Vivendi to cut its stake in either Mediaset or phone incumbent Telecom Italia (TLIT.MI) would favor the negotiation of a deal between the two groups.

So Vivendi will have to choose and get rid of one of the stakes within a year, the regulator said, giving the company 60 days to submit a plan.

According to Agcom, in 2015, Vivendi's reached revenues in the electronic communication market higher than the 40% share and Sic revenues exceeding the quota of 10%, because of its shares in Mediaset and Telecom Italia.

Mediaset, founded by former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, is known primarily as Italy's largest commercial broadcaster, but also has a live entertainment ticketing arm, Taquilla Mediaset, closely linked with Ticketmaster.

In a statement, Vivendi said it was surprised by the ruling, adding that it had not violated Italian law in holding stakes in both companies.

Mediaset, meanwhile, praised the ruling in a brief statement issued on Tuesday evening.

In relation to Mediaset, AGCOM said Vivendi's influence could be expressed through its voting rights, its potential to nominate its own representatives to the board and block any decisions of an extraordinary nature.

Italian authorities began an investigation into Vivendi - the parent company of See Tickets, Digitick and Universal Music Group, among many others - in February after a complaint by Mediaset, in which Vivendi has a almost 29% stake.

Mediaset has taken a hit of €341.3 million in its dispute with Vivendi over the sale of the Mediaset Premium.

Glass Lewis and ISS, the world's two biggest shareholder advisory firms, said Telecom Italia investors should not support the list of candidates proposed by Vivendi, the company's top shareholder, at a meeting on May 4.

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