Italy PM`s holding ordered to pay $800 mn penalty

Italy PM`s Fininvest holding won control of Mondadori in 1991 at the expense of a rival media group.

Milan: A Milan appeals court on Saturday cut to 560 million euros ($801 million) a compensation payment by Italian premier Silvio Berlusconi`s holding company to the rival CIR conglomerate.

The appeal court`s ruling over a 1991 takeover battle for publisher Arnoldo Mondadori Editore is the latest blow to Italy`s weakened prime minister.

Berlusconi this week tried to pass a measure that would have frozen the penalty but had to hastily backpedal due to a lack of support from coalition members.

Berlusconi`s Fininvest holding won control of Mondadori in the early 1990s at the expense of CIR thanks to the ruling of a Rome judge who was later sentenced for corruption.

In 2009 a Milan court ordered Fininvest to pay 749.9 million euros in damages to CIR. Fininvest, which controls broadcaster Mediaset, appealed the decision.

Bureau Report

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