The first court hearing of Mediaset’s case against Vivendi saw judge Vincenzo Perozzeillo push the case back to October, which potentially gives the warring pair more time to find an out-of-court settlement.
The next hearing of the case, which has seen Mediaset and its owner Fininvest seek damages against the French media giant over its failure to honour a deal to acquire the Italian broadcaster’s pay TV arm, will take place on October 23.
According to Italian press reports, the two side have indicated that they could still reach a settlement, something that has eluded them to date.
The initial hearing on Tuesday took place after the head of the mediation body of the Milan arbitration court, Giovanni Nicola Guidice, officially closed a last-minute attempt at conciliation on Monday.
Mediaset and Fininvest between them are seeking #3 billion in damages, following Vivendi’s decision in 2016 to pull out of a deal by which it would have taken control of the Italian broadcaster’s struggling pay TV arm and gained a minority stake in Mediaset itself.
The case finally arrived in court following the failure of Vivendi-backed Telecom Italia shareholders to agree a plan to create a joint venture with Vivendi’s pay TV arm Canal+ in January. Failure to reach an agreement with shareholders set back plans to create the JV, which would have acquired and produced content in the Italian market that would have been distributed via Telecom Italia’s TV platform.