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Mediaset S.p.A. is an Italianmarker-based media company which is the largest commercial broadcaster in the country. Founded in the 1970s by Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi and still controlled today with a 38.6% stake by his family holding company Fininvest, the group competes primarily against the public broadcaster and market leader RAImarker, and News Corporation's Sky Italia.

Mediaset's headquarters are in Milanmarker, Lombardy. Many of its studios are located in the Milano 2 area of Segratemarker, a municipality bordering Milan, where broadcasts of local station TeleMilano (now airing nationally as Mediaset's Canale 5) began in 1978. Due to their close proximity to Italy, Croatiamarker, Maltamarker, San Marinomarker and Sloveniamarker also receive Mediaset broadcasts.

In addition to its domestic television interests, Mediaset also operates a series of news, entertainment and sport websites; holds 50.1% of the Spanishmarker broadcasting firm Gestevisión Telecinco; and heads a consortium which owns the television production house Endemol.

Holdings

Holdings in Spain are through Mediaset's 50.1% stake in Telecinco.

National channels

Mediaset controls four free-to-air terrestrial channels (three in Italymarker and one in Spainmarker):

Digital terrestrial television channels



Italy



Spain





Satellite channels



Until 31 December 2005, there were four other encrypted satellite channels owned by Mediaset on SKY Italia: Duel TV, Happy Channel, IT Italia Teen Television, and MT Channel.

Endemol

A consortium headed by Mediaset, and also consisting of Goldman Sachs and John de Mol's Cyrte Group, acquired Dutch television production company Endemol in 2007.

Europa 7 lawsuit

In January 2008, the European Court of Justice ruled that the TV frequencies used by Mediaset to broadcast Rete 4 were shared out unfairly. They should have been given to Europa 7, a competitor channel, the judges maintain, and Rete 4 should be broadcast via satellite instead. Although the Italian Council of State, the highest court on administrative matters, has confirmed that the Italian government should abide by this European ruling, Rete 4 continues its operation on analog frequencies and on DVB-T.

Google lawsuit

In 30 July 2008, Mediaset filed a lawsuit against Google for €500 million (US$779 million dollars) with the charges of copyright infringement. The company stated that 325 hours worth of material was uploaded to YouTube and the result was the loss of 315,672 viewing days and ad revenue.

SKY Italia lawsuit

In September 16, 2009, SKY Italia (fully owned by News Corporation) has filed a lawsuit to the Court of Milan, Italymarker, against Reti Televisive Italiane and Publitalia '80 (both owned by Mediaset) for an violation of Article 82 of European Treaty that rules free economic competition between companies, in particular for the refuse to allow SKY Italia to purchase advertising on the three main Mediaset television channels (Canale 5, Italia 1 andRete 4), exercising the Article 700 of Italian Civil Procedural Code who permit to require an urgent action.Mediaset has rejected the charge of antitrust violations, stating that in 2009 has broadcast SKY Italia commercials 3107 times on his channels, when SKY Italia has always refused to broadcast Mediaset commercials.

References

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