Italyís competition authority has begun a probe into the sale of Serie A football rights to Mediaset and Sky Italia.

With true Italian style the investigation began with a search by financial police of the two pay-TV companies.

There were also searches out at the offices of the Italian soccer league and Infront, the Swiss sports rights agency that conducted the auction.

Last June, rights to the top eight teams in Italian football were awarded to the two companies in a three-year deal. An auction process had previously delayed following complaints from rival broadcasters.

Sky Italia would also hold exclusive rights to broadcast matches from the other 12 teams in the top flight Serie A.

The Serie A rights were split into five packages. Sky and Mediaset had been prevented from holding total exclusivity due to their market position.

Itís suspected the football authorities did not press for the highest possible price.