December 28, 2017 / 12:53 PM / 3 months ago

Antitrust rules in Italy's media sector may be outdated - PM Gentiloni

ROME, Dec 28 (Reuters) - Italian antitrust rules in media and telecommunications may be outdated in the context of global developments in the sector, Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni said on Thursday.

The growing influence of foreign firms in the sector in Italy has raised concerns in Rome as French media group Vivendi has built up stakes in Telecom Italia and broadcaster Mediaset.

Asked at a year-end news conference whether the current law had been overtaken by events, Gentiloni said, “It may be that the limit has been somewhat overtaken by the global context, by the internet among other things.”

He added it was important to discuss in detail what action should be taken.

“I would not want us to think we can assuage our consciences just by eliminating the limits of a previous era,” he said. “It would be reasonable to overcome this type of structure but we need to do so against a more modern antitrust setting.”

Current Italian rules block a company from having a dominant presence in telecommunication or in media sectors and put a limit on the revenue a single group can earn in the overall communication sector. (Reporting by Giselda Vagnoni, writing by Isla Binnie, editing by Francesca Landini)

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