The Italian communications watchdog has slapped a second fine and an ultimatum onto rival pay-TV companies Telepiu and Stream for failing to agree on a common decoder.

According to Rome daily La Stampa, communications chief Enzo Cheli imposed a fine of $250,000 on top of an existing $150,000 fine and demanded that Stream and Telepiu comply with regulations or risk sanctions as drastic as the suspension of their licences.

Cheli rejected the proposal set forth by the two companies to delay the introduction of the decoder under April next year, although they insist that they need at least six months to come up with a joint technical solution. Currently viewers wanting to watch both channels must buy separate decoding devices. The two companies have until October 16 to reach an agreement.