The head of Mediaset talked with his counterpart at Vivendi on Wednesday, a source familiar with the matter said, as Italy's top commercial broadcaster and its second-biggest investor look to resolve a protracted row. Mediaset, controlled by the family of former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, has been embroiled in a multi-billion-euro legal dispute with Vivendi since a collapsed pay-TV deal in 2016. Vivendi holds 29% of the Italian broadcaster, a stake it built after walking away from the purchase of pay-TV unit Mediaset Premium and which Mediaset considers hostile.
The European Union's top court ruled on Thursday that an Italian law forcing French Vivendi <VIV.PA> to forfeit a stake in Milan-based TV group Mediaset <MS.MI> violated the bloc's rules, potentially allowing a shake-up of the country's media industry. The Court of Justice ruling strengthens Vivendi's hand in a long-running dispute, helping it regain voting rights for its full 29% stake in Mediaset, which is 44% owned by the family of Italy's former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. The ruling brought an immediate response from Mediaset which said it could now consider its own investments in the telecoms sector.
French media conglomerate Vivendi <VIV.PA> and activist fund Amber Capital - the two biggest shareholders in French company Lagardere <LAGA.PA> - said they would go to court over Lagardere's refusal to hold a special shareholders meeting. The legal challenge highlights an intensifying and bitter battle to gain influence over Lagardere, which has pitted French billionaires Vincent Bollore and LVMH's <LVMH.PA> Bernard Arnault against each other. Late on Monday, Lagardere rejected a request by Amber and Vivendi to hold an extraordinary general meeting (EGM), aimed at giving Amber and Vivendi boardroom seats at Lagardere to hold greater influence over the company.