Italy’s Antitrust Watchdog Lifts 2019 Ban On Sky Italy

Italy’s antitrust regulator said on Tuesday it would lift a ban on Sky’s Italian business related to the distribution of exclusive content on its online service platform.

The three-year ban was imposed in May 2019 after Sky had bought the digital terrestrial pay-TV assets of Mediaset, in a deal which the regulator said would limit competition. Sky has been fighting against the ban ever since, gradually getting parts of it lifted.

Mediaset is now known as MediaForEurope.The regulator said in a statement it had decided to remove the ban given that it would shortly expire and considering the absence of premium content in the remaining period and the changes in the industry due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The ruling could be a boost for Sky, owned by US media giant Comcast, as it looks to head off increasing competition from streaming services like Netflix and digital sports firm DAZN. 

Competition for the growing Streaming market has accelerated in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and as better internet connectivity continues to be deployed, with competitors including pure streaming companies like Netflix, to movie studios such as Disney or Paramount pictures. TV broadcasters and cale services have become the latest to try and leverage their own advantages to provide a streaming option to consumers.

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