Mediaset refused to allow Vivendi and Simon Fiduciaria, the company in which it placed all but 9.61% of its shares in the Italian media group to comply with rules preventing it from simultaneously holding shares in Mediaset and Telecom Italia, from participating in the shareholder meeting.
Mediaset’s board claims that Vivendi’s acquisition of shares in Vivendi was in violation of the obligations assumed by the French media giant at the time of its 2016 agreement to acquire Mediaset’s pay TV arm – the deal that Vivendi unilaterally withdrew from, and the source of an ongoing battle between the pair ever since.
Mediaset also claims that Vivendi’s holding continues to be in violation of the TUSMAR regulation that prevents companies simultaneously holding large stakes in media groups and telecommunication companies. Mediaset views Simon Ficuciaria as a mere proxy for Vivendi rather than an independent shareholder.
Vivendi said that neither the agreement under dispute nor the AGCOM decision of April 2017 “or any other applicable law” prevent Vivendi from voting.
“The decision of the Mediaset Board is against all basic principles of shareholder democracy. It is both unlawful and against the interests of Mediaset and, in particular, of its minority shareholders. Under these circumstances, Vivendi is not in a position to participate at the Mediaset Shareholders’ Meeting and reserves all its rights to challenge in court the validity of the resolutions adopted today,” the company said.