April 18, 2017 / 1:27 PM / 3 months ago

Italy regulator says Vivendi has big influence on Telecom Italia - sources

2 Min Read

The Vivendi logo is pictured at the main entrance of the entertainment-to-telecoms conglomerate headquarters in Paris, March 10, 2016.Charles Platiau

MILAN (Reuters) - Italy's communications authority reckons that Vivendi (VIV.PA) significantly influences Telecom Italia (TLIT.MI), two sources said hours before the watchdog is set to decide whether the French media group breaches Italian antitrust regulations.

The authority is looking into Vivendi's stakeholding in both Telecom Italia and Mediaset (MS.MI), given that national laws prevent companies from having an excessive share in both the domestic telecommunications and media markets.

A decision against Vivendi could force it to reduce its 29 percent stake in Mediaset, where Vivendi is the second biggest shareholder behind the family of former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi.

One of the sources said the authority (AGCOM) had established that Vivendi carries a "relevant influence" over Telecom Italia, where it is the biggest investor with a stake of around 24 percent.

"Today they will decide on the consequences of this," the source, who has direct knowledge of the matter, told Reuters on Tuesday.

A second source confirmed AGCOM's decision and said it would likely give Vivendi 12 months to comply with Italian regulations.

AGCOM declined to comment.

Reporting by Alberto Sisto, writing by Giulia Segreti

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