December 4, 2018 / 1:46 PM / a year ago

Italy judge sets new hearing date in Mediaset-Vivendi legal spat

FILE PHOTO: A logo is seen over the main entrance of the entertainment-to-telecoms conglomerate Vivendi's headquarters in Paris April 8, 2015. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes/File Photo

MILAN (Reuters) - A hearing in Milan over a failed pay-TV deal between Italian broadcaster Mediaset (MS.MI) and French media group Vivendi (VIV.PA) has been postponed, a lawyer said on Tuesday.

A date for a new hearing in the long-running case has been set for March 12, Mediaset’s lawyer Andrea Di Porto said.

Mediaset, controlled by the family of former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, is seeking 3 billion euros ($3.4 billion) in damages from Vivendi after it backtracked on a deal to buy Mediaset’s pay-TV unit Premium in July 2016.

Vivendi has said the deal fell through when the French company realized the agreement differed from original discussions.

After pulling the plug on the deal, Vivendi made a hostile raid on the Italian broadcaster, taking a 28.8 percent stake.

Around 19.2 percent of that stake has since been transferred to a trust to comply with regulations given Vivendi also owns 24 percent of Italy’s biggest phone group Telecom Italia (TLIT.MI).

In addition to damages, Mediaset is also asking the judge to declare Vivendi’s stake building illegitimate. Vivendi disputes this.

The hearing has been postponed to give the parties time to present documents, lawyers taking part at Tuesday’s hearing told journalists.

“The idea of a possible settlement does not appear to be there,” the Mediaset lawyer, Di Porto, said.

Reporting by Francesca Landini and Giancarlo Navach; Editing by Edmund Blair

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