Italy regulator places 3-year block on Sky digital rights exclusivity

Italy’s antitrust authority, the AGCM, has ordered that Sky cannot strike exclusive rights deal for content and linear channels across internet platforms for three years as part of its approval of the pay-television broadcaster’s agreement with Mediaset on the future of the latter’s DTT platform, R2.

The AGCM said the combination of Sky and the DTT platform had created “obvious” and “irreversible” anti-competitive effects, despite Mediaset retaining control of R2 after the regulator in April declined to grant unconditional approval of the sale of the unit last month.

To address these concerns, the AGCM has elected to impose, for a period of three years, restraints on Sky’s digital rights dealings as a means to restore competition to the pay-television market.

In a statement, the regulator added: “In this way, the Authority considers that the potential competition of pay-TV offers via the internet can guarantee, in the future, adequate competitive pressure, which allows for a reduction in prices for consumers and an increase in audiovisual content available to them.”