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Italian regulator to probe Vivendi's stake-building in Mediaset

Italian communications regulator AGCOM launched a probe into Vivendi SA's recent spate of stake purchases in Mediaset SpA, following a complaint from the latter.

AGCOM is looking into Vivendi's stake-building in Mediaset with regards to Italy's antitrust regulations that prevent companies from getting a large share of the local telecom and media markets, Reuters reported Dec. 21, citing a statement from the watchdog.

Italian laws prohibit electronic communications companies with a market share of 40% and above to hold a stake of more than 10% in large TV, radio and publishing firms. Mediaset has said the company could be paralyzed by Vivendi's aggressive stake-building.

Meanwhile, Vivendi CEO Arnaud de Puyfontaine will meet Italian markets regulator CONSOB on Dec. 23 to discuss complaints regarding his company's recent moves for Mediaset, according to a separate Dec. 21 Reuters report, citing two sources. De Puyfontaine is expected to confirm that Vivendi complied with all existing market rules in building up its stake in Mediaset.