Vivendi is close to an agreement that would see the French media giant reduce its stake in Silvio Berlusconi’s Mediaset.
The growing influence of Vivendi has become a cause for concern for the Italian media regulator AGCOM.
Mediaset is granted a certain protection because it is considered a national asset. Already an investigation is looking into whether Vincent Bollore’s company failed to notify the regulator that it had taken effective control of Mediaset.
It’s understood Vivendi is willing to put 20 per cent of its shares into a blind trust, which would effectively take its influence below 10 per cent.
Vivendi is the largest shareholder in Telecom Italia with a 24 per cent stake; it has 28.8 per cent in Mediaset and is the largest shareholder after the Berlusconi family.
If Vivendi fails to take notice of the regulator’s commands it faces a fine of between two and five per cent of turnover.