EU May Launch Infringement Procedure Against Italy Over Media Law

The European Commission is set to launch an infringement procedure against Italy over a media law potentially curbing Vivendi’s interests in the country, newspaper la Repubblica reported on Friday, June 4.

The Commission raised questions over the validity of the law, approved by Rome in November, which allowed the Italian national communications regulator AGCOM to start an investigation into Vivendi’s Italian assets to evaluate whether these holdings are harmful to media plurality. 

France’s Vivendi, controlled by billionaire Vincent Bollore, holds a 29% stake in Italy’s top commercial TV group Mediaset, and is also a top investor in former phone monopoly Telecom Italia with a 24% holding.

The law gives the Italian regulator the power to impose curbs on companies holding stakes both in telecoms and TV firms, after assessing total revenues, entry barriers and the level of competition in those sectors.

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