Italian court sets hearing into Vivendi stake in Mediaset for Dec. 16: sources

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MILAN (Reuters) - An Italian administrative court has scheduled a hearing on Dec. 16 to look into a request by Vivendi VIV.PA to annul a ruling by Italy's communications watchdog forcing the French group to forfeit most of its stake in Mediaset MS.MI, two legal sources said on Monday.

One of the sources said Vivendi, Mediaset’s second-biggest shareholder, had asked the administrative court to set the date for the hearing after the European Court of Justice last week said that the Italian law which forced Vivendi to transfer two-thirds of its voting rights in Mediaset to an arm’s-length trust, violated EU rules.

In 2017, Italy's communications watchdog AGCOM ruled that Vivendi's twin stakes in Mediaset and former phone monopolist Telecom Italia TLIT.MI broke rules designed to prevent a concentration of power in the telecoms and media sectors.

Vivendi challenged the decision in front of an Italian administrative court. But the court referred the case to the EU court, whose verdict arrived last week. The administrative court will now rule on Vivendi’s request.

Reporting by Domenico Lusi, Elvira Pollina; editing by Valentina Za