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IQ Mag.net: TICKETERS GO TO WAR OVER ‘FAKE NEWS’

Milan’s public prosecutor is investigating See Tickets parent Vivendi for alleged market manipulation following its acquisition of a 12% stake in Italian entertainment group Mediaset.

Reuters reports several high-ranking Vivendi executives, including chairman Vincent Bolloré, are being probed under a law banning the dissemination of fake news to influence share prices.

Mediaset, founded by former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi (pictured), is known primarily as Italy’s largest commercial broadcaster, but also has a live entertainment ticketing arm, Taquilla Mediaset (‘Mediaset Box Office’), closely linked with Ticketmaster.

A statement from Vivendi, released today, says the investigation is the result of “an unfounded and abusive lawsuit filed by the Berlusconis” and emphasises it “does not in any way signify any accusation against any person”.

“THE INVESTIGATION OF VIVENDI EXECUTIVES … IS THE RESULT OF AN UNFOUNDED AND ABUSIVE LAWSUIT FILED BY THE BERLUSCONIS”

In other Vivendi news, the French multinational today released its 2016 full-year financial results, showing a 0.5% increase in revenue to €10.82 billion but a 2.9% decline in EBIT (earnings before interest and taxes) to €1.2bn.

In ticketing, Vivendi Ticketing (See Tickets UK and US, Digitick in France) generated revenues of €52 million, up 11.8% on 2015 – an improvement on the +6.6% seen in quarters one to three.

Revenue was static at the Olympia venue in Paris, which Vivendi says is satisfactory given the “difficult environment following the November 2016 Paris bombings”.