January 20, 2018 / 11:05 AM / a year ago

Hearing on Vivendi's appeal against Italian antitrust ruling postponed

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

MILAN (Reuters) - An Italian regional court said it would postpone the first hearing of an appeal filed by Vivendi (VIV.PA) against an Italian communications authority decision regarding the French group’s stakes in Telecom Italia (TLIT.MI) and Mediaset (MS.MI).

Authority AGCOM said last year that Vivendi’s stake-building at both the telecom firm and the broadcaster was in breach of rules designed to prevent a concentration of power in Italy’s telecoms and media sector.

It asked the French group to reduce its stake in one of the two companies. Last year Vivendi appealed against this ruling.

On its website the regional court said the appeal hearing would be held on July 4. It was previously set for Feb. 7.

One source close to the matter said the postponement was requested by Vivendi, after discussions with AGCOM, to buy time while the French group was in negotiations with Mediaset to find a way out over a failed pay-TV deal.

When the dispute over the pay-TV deal erupted, Vivendi quickly built a 28.8 percent stake in the Italian broadcaster. The French group also holds a 24 percent stake in Telecom Italia (TIM).

Reporting by Stefano Rebaudo and Francesca Landini; Writing by Francesca Landini; Editing by Andrew Bolton

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