Subject to a series of binding conditions, Italy's anti-trust authority has endorsed the proposed merger of the pay television services Stream and Tele+, a subsidiary of Canal+. In a statement published on May 13, the authority indicated that in respect of football, Canal+ and Tele+ will in future no longer be able to sign contracts exceeding two years in duration, regarding scrambled retransmission rights for Italian A and B series matches, the Champions League, the UEFA Cup or the Italian Cup. Regarding on-going contracts for Italian A and B series championship matches, Telepiu (Tele+) will be required to allow clubs to unilaterally walk away from their contracts from the 2003/04 season and for all following seasons, without any right to compensation. Tele+ will also be required to forgo exclusivity in the broadcasting of football by means other than satellite, for example cable, digital terrestrial television, UMTS or the Internet.Regarding films, Telepiu will be required to grant all the "majors" with which it holds exclusive contracts a right to terminate these contracts with six months notice but without compensation. The Canal+ subsidiary will also be required to forgo all exclusive rights other than those concerning satellite broadcasts and exclusive contracts in the area of video-on-demand. At the same time, Tele+ should...

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