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Sky Italia’s Mediaset pay TV purchase surprisingly blocked

Comcast’s absorption of Sky has met a little local difficulty in Italy where the regulator has unexpectedly blocked the acquisition of broadcaster Mediaset’s pay TV services and technology unit R2. This coincides with Mediaset being pre-occupied by considerations over possible cross-border alliances as part of a wider consolidation among European broadcasters driven ultimately by the Netflix phenomenon. It had looked a done deal in December 2018 when Mediaset announced an agreement to sell 100% of R2, the company controlling the infrastructure for its pay TV service Mediaset Premium, to Sky Italia. This would allow Mediaset to retain control of its premium channels and continue managing the Mediaset Premium customer base. The stage had been set in April 2018 by a…

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