Vivendi and Mediaset agree to make peace

The French group Vivendi, parent company of Canal +, and the Italian Mediaset announced, Monday, May 3, to be “Reached a global agreement putting an end to their differences by waiving all disputes and all complaints between them”, according to a joint press release, also with the holding company of the Berlusconi family, Fininvest.

The group of the Berlusconi family and that of Vincent Bolloré had agreed in 2016 to launch a content platform likely to compete with the American Netflix, via the purchase by the French group of 100% of the package of pay TV channels Mediaset Premium.

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But Vivendi very quickly denounced this agreement, believing that it had been misled about the true value of Mediaset Premium. Then launched in the wake of a lightning raid to acquire 28.8% of Mediaset, judged “Hostile” by the Berlusconi family. This raid also came up against an Italian law on the plurality of the media which had forced Vivendi to ” freeze “ some 20% of its stake, entrusting it to a trust company.

” Good neighborhood “

In June 2017, Mediaset and its main shareholder Fininvest then sued Vivendi, claiming 3 billion euros in damages. Since then, the Italian and European courts have been trying to settle the dispute, Vivendi having notably pocketed a victory in September 2020 before European justice, but having been condemned in April by a court in Milan to pay 1.7 million euros in damages and interests in Mediaset.

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According to the compromise announced Monday evening, Vivendi, Mediaset’s second shareholder, has undertaken to sell all of the 19.19% of Mediaset’s capital which had been frozen within five years, and will remain a shareholder in the Italian television group. up to 4.61%.

The agreement provides that Vivendi will vote in favor of relocating Mediaset’s headquarters to the Netherlands. The group wants to merge its Italian and Spanish activities and its 15.1% stake in the German ProSiebenSat.1, in a holding under Dutch law called MFE (Media For Europe), which Vivendi had opposed until now, even in the courts.

The two European audiovisual giants have also concluded ” good neighborhood “ in free television for a period of five years. Dailymotion, a subsidiary of Vivendi, has finally committed to pay 26.3 million euros to put an end to a copyright dispute with RTI and Medusa, subsidiaries of Mediaset. The finalization of this agreement is scheduled for July 22, 2021.

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The World with AFP

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