Mediaset, Vivendi ‘hold talks to resolve disputed merger plans’

Italy-based broadcaster Mediaset and French media group Vivendi are in talks to resolve their dispute over the former’s plans to merge its Italian and Spanish businesses, according to the Reuters news agency.

In September, Mediaset was granted approval to merge its Spanish and Italian operations into a Dutch holding company registered as Media for Europe. Vivendi believes the merger would allow the Berlusconi family, which owns Mediaset, to assert control over the French media group, which is an investor in Mediaset.

Reuters, citing a Mediaset statement, reported that a court hearing to discuss Vivendi’s request to freeze the merger has been rescheduled from this week to November 22, allowing the two parties time to reach a compromise.

The development comes after Vivendi last month filed a preliminary injunction in Italy against Mediaset’s plans to merge its Italian and Spanish operations. That move came days after a Madrid court suspended a decision taken at a previous extraordinary meeting of Mediaset España shareholders to approve the merger.