NewsCorp Offers Concessions to EC in Italian Pay-TV Deal

17 January 2003

News Corporation is offering several new concessions to the European Commission in a bid to get its €893 million ($943m; £588m) purchase of Italian pay-TV operator Telepiù cleared.

The EC is in the middle of a four-month enquiry into the deal, forged in October after lengthy negotiations with current owner Vivendi Universal [WAMN: 03-Oct-02]. NewsCorp wants to merge Telepiù with its own Italian pay-TV unit Stream, with the resulting monopoly branded Sky Italia.

In an effort to gain regulatory approval, the US giant is said to have proposed concessions on content, set-top box supply and access to the platform for other broadcasters. The Murdoch empire has already vowed to dispose of Telepiù’s digital terrestrial licences and suggested alterations to its soccer TV rights.

The EC is expected to approve the deal in light of the concessions. NewsCorp hopes to have gained regulatory approval by mid-April.

Data sourced from: Financial Times; additional content by WARC staff