Italy investigates sale of soccer rights to Sky, Mediaset
20 May 2015, 09:11
Milan - Italy's anti-trust authority AGCM said on Tuesday it was investigating the sale of Serie A soccer rights to Sky Italia and Mediaset on suspicion the deal may have violated competition laws and excluded new entrants.
Italy's soccer league awarded rights to broadcast matches of the eight main Italian teams in the three seasons to 2018 to Sky Italia, part of Sky Plc, and Mediaset in June following an auction that was delayed due to legal complaints by rivals.
The official outcome of the auction was tweaked in a deal that gave Sky Italia exclusive rights to broadcast matches of the other 12 teams in Serie A, a package that had initially been awarded to Mediaset.
Sky Italia declined to comment. Mediaset was not immediately available for comment after the anti-trust watchdog's statement.
In a statement, AGCM said the investigation also involved the Italian soccer league and Infront, the Swiss-based agency that managed the auction process. It said the investigation will have to be completed by the end of April 2016.
The soccer league was not immediately available for comment. Infront said in a statement it was cooperating with AGCM.
As part of its investigation, AGCM said it searched the offices of the companies involved earlier on Tuesday, helped by the financial police.
Both Sky Italia and Mediaset already rights to air Serie A soccer matches in previous seasons.