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Sky Italia pulls out of DTT frequency contest

Pay TV operator Sky Italia has decided to pull out of the competition to acquire new digital-terrestrial frequencies, alleging that the process was skewed in favour of rival broadcasters.

The rules of the process, which were set under the government of former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, meant that the frequencies were to be awarded after a ‘beauty contest’ between applicants. Mediaset, controlled by the Berlusconi family, and state broadcaster Rai had expected to be awarded two of the best frequencies.

Sky now hopes that the new technocratic government of Mario Monti will review the rules of the process.

Sky won the right to apply for DTT frequencies earlier this year after a battle in which the Italian Council of State confirmed the opinions of the EC and telecom regulator Agcom allowing it to participate in the face of opposition from the Berlusconi government.