MILAN (Reuters) – French media group Vivendi (VIV.PA) has asked to meet top executives at Mediaset (MS.MI) to start talks over a possible deal to end a long-running row with the Italian broadcaster, three sources with knowledge of the matter said on Tuesday.
Over the last four years Mediaset – controlled by the family of former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi – and the French media group have been embroiled in a legal battle which stemmed from a failed pay-TV sale.
The row intensified last year when Mediaset approved a plan to merge its Italian and Spanish (TL5.MC) businesses under a Dutch holding company, through which it wants to build pan-European alliances.
But opposition from Vivendi, which says the holding’s governance structure would strengthen the Berlusconis’ grip over the group, led to the project being suspended by a Madrid court.
Mediaset declined to comment. Vivendi was not immediately available to comment.
Reporting by Elvira Pollina, editing by Giulia Segreti