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Italian court restores Sky Italia content restrictions

SEDE SKY MILANO

Three months after they were lifted, Italy’s top court has restored content restrictions on Sky Italia.

In 2019, Italy’s competition watchdog imposed a three-year ban that stopped the pay TV operator from distributing exclusive content from Mediaset on its online platform.

This was after the competition regulator gave a conditional green light to Sky’s agreement with Mediaset on the future of the Italian digital-terrestrial platform operated by Mediaset’s R2 on condition that the pay TV operator did not strike any exclusive deals for content or linear channels on streaming platforms for a period of three years.

The competition watchdog said that the combination of Sky and the digital-terrestrial platform had “irreversible” anti-competitive effects that were not mitigated by Mediaset retaining control of R2 after the AGCM declined to grant unconditional approval of the sale of the unit to Sky in April because of the absence of pay TV competitors on the terrestrial network.

The sale was agreed as part of Mediaset’s wider agreement with Sky signed in 2017 that saw Mediaset make its pay TV services available on Sky’s platform and gave Sky access to its digital-terrestrial TV platform.

A regional administrative court initially overturned the ban in March, but a court document revealed on Thursday has re-implemented these restrictions.

This came following an appeal from the Italian watchdog.

Sky Italia is yet to comment on the news.