Last minute “due diligence issues” could prove a deal-buster in the planned acquisition by News Corporation of Vivendi Universal’s lossmaking Italian pay-TV unit Telepiu.

Top executives from the two media giants are to meet in Paris today (Monday) to try to resolve the issues which are said to revolve around the valuation of Telepiu

According to an insider close to the negotiations: “Both sides want to get it signed on Monday, but it's more in jeopardy than it was. A couple of issues have come up in final due diligence that could be breakers.”

Some observers, however, see the reported hiccup as an archetypal last-minute negotiating ploy – more frequently brought into play when dealing with an over-eager seller. Neither party, however, was prepared to comment over the weekend.

Even if the deal doesn’t fall at this hurdle, there are others ahead: NewsCorp has insisted on an independent audit of Telepiu’s subscription base before ink hits paper.

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