Vivendi will have to compensate Mediaset with 1.7 million euros for not respecting the agreement (of 8 April 2016) for the sale of Mediaset Premium. This was established by the court of Milan which ascertained «Vivendi’s non-fulfillment of the preliminary obligations» and condemned the French group to compensate Mediaset and Rti. Specifically, the panel made up of Angelo Mambriani and judges Daniela Marconi and Amina Simonetti, having ascertained “Vivendi’s non-compliance”, sentenced the French group to pay damages in favor of Mediaset through the payment of 1.2 million euros and in favor of Rti with the payment of just over 500 thousand euros. Furthermore, the college rejected all other applications proposed by Mediaset and Rti also as the incorporating company of Mediaset Premium towards Vivendi, for approximately 3 billion.
The court of Milan has therefore, on the one hand, sanctioned that Vivendi’s “round-up” of Mediaset shares in December 2016 for a total amount of just under 30% cannot be considered illegitimate; but, on the other hand, that in the agreement signed in April of that same year for the sale of Mediaset Premium, there were “breaches” on the part of the French company which will therefore have to compensate Mediaset and Rti by paying a total sum of over 1.7 million euros.
The roundup on the stock exchange
The financial, corporate and judicial war between the two companies began right after Vivendi’s failure to comply with the agreement for the purchase of Mediaset Premium, the old pay TV of the Cologno group. To have their rights recognized, the Berlusconi family turned to justice, while the French reacted by buying Mediaset shares on the stock market by hand, which set Consob and Agcom in motion.. For the roundup of Mediaset shares in Piazza Affari, the Milan Public Prosecutor’s Office is investigating Vivendi’s main shareholder, Vincent Bolloré, and the company’s CEO, Arnaud de Puyfontaine, for manipulation.
1.3 billion shopping
In December 2016, the boom in the Mediaset stock on the Stock Exchange subsided. The new picture of the company’s shareholding sees Vivendi holding 28.8% of the share capital and 29.94% of the voting rights, a breath away from the threshold of 30% after which the takeover bid takes place. Shopping costs the French around 1.3 billion euros. Again in the same period, Fininvest strengthens its position, taking almost 40% of the share capital of Mediaset. In January 2017, Vivendi Tarak’s adviser Ben Ammar, a longtime friend of Silvio Berlusconi and partner of Vincent Bolloré, was heard in the Milan public prosecutor’s office. The following week Ben Ammar is heard again by the owners of the investigation. The Franco-Tunisian financier has always said that he is willing to play the role of mediator in order to reach a pacification between the two parties involved and that he does not want to favor any of them. And in February 2017, the Milan Public Prosecutor investigates Bolloré and Arnaud de Puyfontaine for manipulation.
The choice between Mediaset and Tim
In April 2017, an Agcom resolution obliged Vivendi, in compliance with the legislation on concentration in the Italian telecommunications sector, to choose between the presence in the share capital of Mediaset and the retention of the stake in Tim, of which it is the largest shareholder with approximately 24% of the capital. The resolution effectively leads to the freezing of almost 20% of Mediaset held by Vivendi in a trust (Simon Fiduciaria) that has never had the right to vote in the Biscione meetings, creating the vulnus to a series of other appeals and legal disputes that they will be the basis for the cancellation or withdrawal of some resolutions adopted by the shareholders meeting at the meeting. In June 2019 the board of directors of Mediaset and its Iberian subsidiary, Mediaset España, decided to propose to their respective shareholders to merge into a new parent company based in the Netherlands and called MfE (MediaforEurope), destined to become the future of the Berlusconi family. pole of a pan-European generalist TV. But in February 2020 Mediaset, after months of work, and a harsh ostracism of the French even in the courtrooms of the Netherlands, Spain and Italy, withdraws the MfE project with the commitment to revisit it and propose it again in the future.
The European Court of Justice
In September 2020, the European Court of Justice established that “the Italian provision that prevents Vivendi from acquiring 28% of the capital of Mediaset is contrary to EU law”. The conditions are therefore created for the cancellation of the Agcom resolution of April 2017 which in fact had applied for the first time the provisions of the Consolidated Law on media and audiovisual and radio services (the Tusmar) on the subject of excessive concentration in the Tlc sector. of the country. Thus in December 2020 the so-called “Salva Mediaset” rule comes into force, basically created to fill the regulatory vacuum created by the ruling of the EU Court of 3 September. The provision essentially gives Agcom six months to check whether the unfreezing of the French shareholder ‘s right to vote in the Cologno television group negatively affects information pluralism and therefore acts accordingly. And that’s not all: on 23 December 2020 the Lazio TAR, following the ruling of the European Court of Justice, cancels the Agcom resolution of 10 April 2017 which had imposed on Vivendi to choose between the relevant stake in Tim and that in Mediaset.