Berlusconi firm faces massive fine after losing court battle

City A.M. Reporter
THE FAMILY holding company of former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi was ordered yesterday to pay €494m (£415m) in damages stemming from the purchase of publisher Mondadori.

The final ruling by Italy’s top appeals court was a fresh blow to Berlusconi, 76, already reeling from a supreme court verdict which confirmed a four-year jail sentence last month, commuted to one year, for massive fraud at his Mediaset television empire. Berlusconi postponed an announcement in which he is likely to steer away from moves to bring down the government, political sources said.

The fine against loss-making Fininvest was reduced to €540m from €564m in a previous ruling, according to calculations made from a copy of the verdict.

CIR, the company which won the case, said in a statement yesterday that “the final amount of compensation awarded to the company is approximately €494m.”

Fininvest controls assets worth more than €5bn, including Mediaset.

It has always denied any wrongdoing in the case.