(Adds Mediaset's move)
MILAN, March 21 French media group Vivendi
and Italian broadcaster Mediaset are suing each
other for alleged defamation, a legal source involved in the
case said on Tuesday, escalating a dispute over a failed pay-TV
A trial opened in Milan on Tuesday over the collapsed deal,
after Mediaset sought court enforcement of an April 2015
contract to sell its Premium pay-TV unit to Vivendi.
The French group pulled out of the accord in July and went
on to build a 28.8 percent stake in Mediaset in a move that
angered both the media group controlled by former Prime Minister
Silvio Berlusconi and the Italian government.
The source said that in the course of the trial on Tuesday
Vivendi filed a suit against Mediaset for alleged defamation,
without quantifying the damages sought.
In turn Mediaset is also now seeking damages for comments
made in the media by Vivendi's Chief Executive Arnaud de
Puyfontaine, the source said.
Representatives for Vivendi and Mediaset declined to comment
on the matter.
(Reporting by Giulia Segreti and Giancarlo Navach; Editing by
Paola Arosio, Greg Mahlich)