The Milan civil court on Monday ordered the media giant Vivendi to pay 1.7 million euros in damages to Mediaset for reneging on a partnership agreement, a sum which however remains well below the 3 billion euros. euros claimed by the Italian group, we learned from a judicial source.
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The judges ruled that Vivendi had failed in its obligations by not respecting an agreement concluded in April 2016 by the two companies concerning the purchase of 100% of the package of pay-TV channels Mediaset Premium by the French group. On the other hand, they considered unfounded the complaint of Mediaset which accused Vivendi of having artificially reduced the action of the Italian group by announcing the termination of the agreement to then increase its capital at a lower cost, we added. judicial source.
Mediaset and its main shareholder Fininvest, a holding company of the Berlusconi family, sued Vivendi in June 2017, claiming 3 billion euros in damages from Vincent Bolloré's group for having withdrawn from the partnership agreement providing that it acquires Mediaset Premium.
The objective of the agreement was to launch a content platform likely to compete with the American Netflix.
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But Vivendi denounced this agreement three months later, believing that it had been misled about the true value of Mediaset Premium.
The chairman of the board of Vivendi Arnaud de Puyfontaine then explained that his group had received information that did not correspond to the reality of Premium.
Vivendi, which owns Canal + in particular, had immediately embarked on a lightning raid to acquire 28.8% of Mediaset, deemed
by the Berlusconi family.
European justice proves Vivendi right
This rise of Vivendi in the capital of Mediaset had come up against an Italian law on the plurality of media which had forced Vivendi to
some 20% of its stake, by entrusting it to a trust company. In September 2020, European justice however ruled in favor of Vivendi, Mediaset's second shareholder, by considering this provision to be contrary to EU law. The Milan court dismissed Mediaset's complaint on this point, referring to the European judgment and ruling that Vivendi's behavior did not amount to unfair competition.