Diller to buy into Italo home shopping network

HSN to join ReteMia, bill may limit shopping to digital satcasters

MILAN — Barry Diller’s TV group Home Shopping Network will soon enter Italy’s teleshopping industry by buying a stake in national network ReteMia, Italian daily paper Il Sole 24 Ore said Thursday, reporting anonymous sources close to the U.S. company.

According to the daily, Diller will create a joint venture with Luxembourg based TV company Scandinavian Broadcasting System (SBS), which acquired 10.1% of ReteMia in 1997, with an option to buy the remaining 90% in the next two years. The whole capital of ReteMia has been assessed at $70 million.

According to the report, the deal mainly depends on legal questions. The new TV reform bill in the Italian Parliament, if approved, might limit teleshopping channels to digital satellite broadcasting, a sector still very underdeveloped.

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