The EU Fee expresses doubts concerning the new Italian media legislation

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: There is a logo above the main entrance of the headquarters of the entertainment telecommunications conglomerate Vivendi in Paris

ROM (Reuters) – The European Commission last week raised questions about the validity of a recently passed Italian media law that could potentially limit the interests of the French group Vivendi (OTC 🙂 in the country, the daily la Repubblica reported on Monday.

In a letter sent to the Italian Ministry of Industry on Friday, the Commission said the law had not been communicated to Brussels, so it may not be applicable, according to the La Repubblica report.

The new rule could be "incoherent with European treaties," the report said, citing the document.

Last month, Italy passed a stop gap law that allows the national communications regulator AGCOM to launch an investigation into Vivendi's Italian assets to assess whether those holdings are detrimental to media diversity.

Vivendi, which is controlled by the billionaire Vincent Bollore, has a 29% stake in Italy's leading commercial broadcaster Mediaset (OTC 🙂 and is also a top investor in the former telephone monopoly Telecom Italia (MI 🙂 (TIM) with a share of 24%.

The new law could help Mediaset – controlled by the family of former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi – in a long-standing dispute with its second largest shareholder Vivendi.

The two groups have been involved in a fight since 2016, when Vivendi abandoned an agreement to buy Mediaset's pay-TV unit and built up their 29% stake, which the Italian broadcaster considers hostile. Attempts to reach a compromise have so far been unsuccessful.

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