An Italian judge will pass a judgment on Vivendi’s request to block Mediaset’s pan-European tv project after the two teams did not settle their lengthy-operating dispute, a legal source stated Friday.
The case has become a fight between billionaires over the future of European TV as competitors grow from streaming companies from the likes of Netflix and Amazon.
Mediaset is backed by the family of an ex-Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, whereas its 29% shareholder Vivendi is led by Vincent Bollore.
The two teams, locked in a whole series of legal arguments, have clashed over the Italian group’s programs to create a pan-European TV champion through Dutch-based holding MediaForEurope.
Mediaset goals to use the MFE platform to build TV unions in Europe to assist it in competing with streaming services and has built a 15% stake in Germany’s ProSiebenSat.1.
Vivendi, which has its own programs to develop a southern European media force, says governance programs at MFE would give Berlusconi too much power and hurt minority stockholders.
An agreement between the two sides would free Mediaset’s hand to press ahead with merging its Spanish and Italian units, folding them into the Dutch holding.
A Milan judge last month gave the corporations until November 29 to settle their disputes over MFE after earlier attempts to succeed in an agreement failed.
However, overnight discussions didn’t produce a breakthrough, and the two sides faced off in court docket. The judge should now set a date for a new hearing to debate Vivendi’s request to suspend the MFE operation.
The two sides have been discussing to try to discover a method to settle, not just the MFE lawsuit but all their outstanding points.