MILAN, March 22 An Italian judge has asked the
country's biggest private broadcaster Mediaset and
France's Vivendi to try to find an agreement over
defamation suits they have launched against each other, a
judicial source told Reuters.
The lawsuits are part of an ongoing dispute stemming from
the French media group's decision in July last year to pull out
of an April 2016 agreement to buy Mediaset's pay-TV unit.
The legal battle between the two groups escalated on Tuesday
as they both sued each other for defamation on the opening day
of a trial over the collapsed deal.
"The judge has decided that there must be an attempt to
mediate (on the defamation suits), as envisaged by Italian
law... and has given the parties time to do that," the source
The Milan-based judge scheduled in October the next hearing
of the trial, which is expected to run for a long time. The two
groups have until then to settle the defamation dispute.
(Reporting by Manuela D'Alessandro, writing by Giulia Segreti,
editing by Silvia Aloisi and Valentina Za)