Berlusconi's firm to pay £450m for damages from Mondadori purchase

Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's holding firm - Fininvest - has been ordered to pay damages of €540m (£453m) as a result of the purchase of publisher Mondadori.

Fininvest holdings include football club A.C. Milan, insurance and banking company Mediolanum, and Italian film production company Medusa.

The ruling by Italy's top appeals court follows a supreme court verdict for fraud another of his companies - Mediaset - which saw Berlusconi receive a four year sentence (commuted to a single year).

The fine against loss-making Fininvest FIN.UL was reduced to 540 million euros ($721 million) from 564 million euros in a previous ruling, according to a copy of the verdict e-mailed to Reuters.

The case related to the 1991 battle for control of Mondadori between Fininvest and CIR and was the civil leg of a criminal trial which in 2007 found Berlusconi's former lawyer guilty of bribing a judge.

(Reuters)