ROME, April 11 Italy's broadcasting industry
authority approved rules on Thursday for the conduct of its
auction of digital terrestrial television frequencies that
prevent the big established operators from bidding for new
Broadcasting authority Agcom had already ruled that only new
entrants to the market could compete for the full package of
20-year frequency licences, ruling out Mediaset, state
broadcaster RAI and Telecom Italia.
Under slightly amended rules announced on Thursday, Agcom
said that three so-called multiplex groups of channels
transmitted on digital bandwidth would be auctioned.
Previous plans to put extra five-year frequency options on
700 megahertz bans dedicated to mobile telephone television have
It said new entrants and small operators would be free to
bid for all three while groups which already hold two
multiplexes will be eligible to bid for two packages.
In a measure which would allow News Corp's Italian
pay TV unit, Sky Italia, to bid, it said that groups with a
market share of more than 50 percent of the pay TV segment would
be eligible to bid for a single multiplex.
The bigger groups which already hold three or more
multiplex, including Mediaset, RAI and Telecom Italia, are ruled
out of bidding.
(Reporting By James Mackenzie; Editing by Kenneth Barry)