Vincent Bolloré, Vivendi’s former chairman, and current CEO Arnaud De Puyfontaine have both been indicted by Italian prosecutors for allegedly driving down broadcaster Mediaset’s share price in a market manipulation scheme.
According to Bloomberg, Bollore is also said to have obstructed the work of market regulator Consob.
Vivendi has issued a statement denying the allegations, saying its current and former executives either acted in compliance with the law or are “extraneous” to the allegations. Mediaset has declined comment.
The French broadcaster has been locked in battle with its Italian counterpart for years, beginning with an attempt to buy Mediaset in 2016. After pulling out of a deal to buy Mediaset, Vivendi then acquired almost 30 per cent of the broadcaster. In the last couple of years the two have been fighting over Mediaset’s plans to merge of its Italian and Spanish business units into MediaForEurope, which would be based in Amsterdam. That battle is on-going.