The shares of Vivendi Universal dipped 10% today after new bumps emerged in the road towards sale of its troubled Italian pay-TV operation Telepiu. At 1230GMT the shares traded at Euros11.64 compared with Friday's Euros12.20 close.
Over the weekend, the EU's competition commissioner Mario Monti said that he would expect his office to examine the deal to sell Telepiu to News Corp, which already controls rival pay-platform Stream. Monti's office confirmed on Monday that the deal would have "a [European] Community dimension" because of the size of the firms involved.
Depending on the scale of the examination deemed necessary, an EU investigation could take anywhere between six weeks and a year. That would prevent the cash-strapped Vivendi Universal from reducing its debts as quickly as it had hoped.
Earlier this year the two companies agreed to the deal, but News Corp has used Vivendi Universal's desperate plight to cut the purchase price form Euros1.5bn to under Euros1bn. On Wednesday last week, new Vivendi Universal chief Jean-Rene Fourtou announced that he had finally obtained a deal, only for News Corp to reveal that the last details of the contract had not yet been signed off.