Italian broadcaster Mediaset has said it is open to a deal involving Vivendi of France, but it has no interest in taking a stake in Vivendi-backed Telecom Italia (TIM). Local press reports had suggested this week that Mediaset’s controlling shareholders, the Berlusconi family, could swap their Mediaset shares for a stake in TIM, but Reuters is reporting that the family has ‘no interest’ in becoming a TIM shareholder.
After a deal for Vivendi to acquire the Italian broadcaster’s pay-TV business Mediaset Premium fell through in July last year, Vivendi began buying up shares in Mediaset, gradually increasing its interest in the company to 30%. But Mediaset complained to Italian regulators and an investigation into Vivendi’s actions is now underway. Vivendi is thought to be looking to create a combined telecoms and pay-TV business in Italy which can compete with the country’s dominant pay-TV operator Sky Italia, which has a partnership to offer its services to customers of TIM’s mobile market rival Vodafone Italy.