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Italian media corporation, formed in 1992 to allow several TV stations to work together to increase their market share and commercial success. The major shareholder of Mediaset is Fininvest (which owns 48% of the company). Fininvest itself is entirely under the control of Italian President Silvio Berlusconi, although due to allegations of a conflict of interest, he is reducing his active role in the management of the company. He is not, however, selling any of his shares.

The status of these companies, and Berlusconi's involvement with them, may change due to the current legal proceedings, which object to the President of a country also controlling all its major media distributors. It is interesting that Mediaset's own website describes the rise of commercial broadcasters within Italy as:

"Fininvest's (and therefore Mediaset's) television channels had become the preferred choice of millions of Italian viewers and the state monopoly in television and advertising was broken."

The state monopoly was indeed broken, and all Italian stations are now either owned by the state or by Mediaset. Of course, Berlusconi 'owns' both of these...

Location: Via Paleocapa 3 20121 Milano, Italy
2001 revenue: 2,351.1 million euros
2001 profit: 248.4 million euros

Television stations

More recently, Mediaset have been gaining territory outside of Italy, and are rapidly becoming a key European player (although still someway behind Vivendi). Between 1986 and 1989, Mediaset gained interests in La Cinq (French) and Telefuenf (German). There is a lot of promotion done across these stations despite the language barrier. For example, if La Cinq wins a bid to televise a film in France, the contracts for Germany, Italy and Spain usually follow.

Other interests

Sources: http://www.transnationale.org , http://www.gruppomediaset.it

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