Mediaset and Sky Italia claim victory in ad-ban spat

Mediaset and Sky Italia have both claimed success in a court hearing into the former’s refusal to broadcast advertising from the latter.

A Milan civil court ruled that Berlusconi’s Mediaset was breaking competition rules by refusing to carry News Corp-owned Sky Italia’s advertising on its free-to-air channels because it also offers a pay-TV service, Premium. However, the court stopped short of making the broadcaster pay damages. News Corp expressed its satisfaction with the ruling. Mediaset  also said it was ‘satisfied’ with the decision, adding that various requests made by Sky had been rejected, including for Mediaset to immediately recommence advertising for Sky Italia, to prohibit Mediasaet from promoting Premium on its free-to-air channels and a request for compensation.

“The court’s decision foresees only that Publitalia [Mediaset’s ad sales unit] does not apply ‘prejudicial rejection’ of advertising campaigns for Sky Italia in order to advantage the Mediaset Premium offer,” the broadcaster said in a statement. “Mediaset underlined that this is precisely the approach that the company has always followed.” It said it had already broadcast 3,107 Sky commercials this year.