Sky Italia accuses Mediaset of unfair competition

By Julian Clover
September 17, 2009

Sky Italia has filed a lawsuit in a Milan Court citing the violation of anti-trust rules by Mediaset subsidiaries RTI and PubItalia. In a statement, Sky Italia’s parent News Corporation said the Mediaset Group was in breach article 82 of the European Treaty.

“News Corporation believes these companies have violated EC rules governing free competition, as well as Italian media regulation, by refusing to allow Sky Italia to purchase advertising on leading Italian commercial networks Canale 5, Italia 1 and Rete 4”.

There has been a growing animosity between Sky Italia and Mediaset, owned by the Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, and a part owner of the free-to-view satellite platform TivůSat.

On Monday, Agcom opened an investigation into the public broadcaster RAI and its use of the TivůSat platform. The regulator expressed concern over the distribution of smart cards, at home and abroad, and said it would investigate the cross platform availability of the RAI channels, as was the case in other European countries.

RAI, a partner in TivůSat with Mediaset and Telecom Italia, withdrew from the Sky platform on August 1.

The regulator meanwhile approved the launch of TivůSat itself.