Mediaset scores in telco tower deal

Move follows government DTT sell-off

Mediaset is taking over Italo telco towers operator Digital Multimedia Technologies, achieving dominance in the strategically key TV broadcasting tower market.

DMT shareholders approved the long-gestating deal, meaning Mediaset did not have to launch a full takeover bid.

Mediaset, controlled by Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, said the deal will “create a leading operator in the transmissions infrastructure field” and also create important synergies.

Timing is perfect, coming just ahead of an expected growth in the number of DTT channels following a planned government selloff of DTT bandwidth.

Analysts say the deal will increase Mediaset’s capability to beam its own digital channels and also allow it to rent out excess frequencies to other broadcasters.

With DMT, Mediaset will control 2,000 tower sites accounting for 80% of Italy’s transmissions’ infrastructure market, while pubcaster RAI’s RAI Way digital transmissions unit holds a roughly 20% stake.

The deal still needs clearance from the country’s antitrust watchdog, which is probing the potential impact on rival broadcasters — including Rupert Murdoch’s Sky Italia paybox.

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