Sky Italia, part of News Corporation, has informed the country’s Ministry of Economic Development and the European Commission that it is withdrawing its application for digital terrestrial frequencies. The broadcaster has attributed this to the protracted process and uncertain outcome that it says has made it impossible to plan any investment. However, Sky has no plans to pull out of Italy altogether, insisting instead that it will expand its presence there.
Sky’s entry to Italy’s free digital terrestrial market had originally been opposed by then Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, who recently resigned because of the country’s debt problems. But, the European Commission then ruled that Sky must be allowed to bid for six frequency bands, with 10 contenders overall. These frequencies are being assigned free of charge, based on criteria set by Italian telecommunications regulator Agcom and the Ministry of Economic Development.