Italy ruling excludes RAI, Mediaset from 20-yr frequency licences

ROME Wed Nov 14, 2012 2:42pm EST

ROME Nov 14 (Reuters) - Italy's telecoms authority ruled on Wednesday that only new entrants to the digital television market could compete for new full 20-year frequency licences, excluding state broadcaster Rai and Mediaset from the frame.

The authority ruled that no company could hold more than five so-called multiplex groups of channels transmitted on digital bandwidth at the end of the auction.

That effectively excluded state broadcaster RAI and Mediaset, owned by former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, which already own five multiplex.

The authority's ruling left the two groups free to bid for new five-year frequency options on 700 megahertz bands dedicated to mobile telephone television.

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