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Italy: Watchdog says antitrust law violated in soccer rights sale

 |  January 18, 2016

Investigators at Italy’s antitrust authority said Sky Italia and Mediaset violated competition laws by divvying up Serie A soccer rights and excluding new entrants, according to a Sunday newspaper report that was confirmed by a source.

The antitrust body, known as the AGCM, began its investigation into a 2014 rights auction worth nearly 1 billion euros per season in May last year, closing it in December.

Inspectors have written a report of their findings, but there has been no ruling on whether rules were broken. First the parties involved will be called to respond to the findings before a panel on Feb. 16, after which AGCM will announce its ruling.

But la Repubblica newspaper reported on Sunday, citing the 56-page document detailing the conclusions of the regulator’s investigators, that the two companies “agreed to the outcome” of the rights auction, “blocking the entry of new operators”.

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