Gov’t mulls ad limit

World Brief

Mediaset, Italy’s largest private broadcaster, might have to limit advertising sales on digital television as Italy’s telecommunications regulator seeks to increase competition in the media market.

Milan-based Mediaset will not be able to sell ads for more channels than the three it broadcasts after the switch to digital transmission technology, the telecommunications and media regulator said during a press conference in Rome on Thursday.

Mediaset, owned by Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, runs three free-to-air national channels that compete with three free stations run by state-owned broadcaster RAI. They control about 90% of Italy’s market for viewers and ad sales.

“The television market and its sources of financing continue to be characterized by a duopoly” made up of Mediaset and RAI, Vincenzo Monaci, a commissioner at the regulator said during the press conference.

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