Italy's court rejects SKY's last resort bid to scrap curbs on exclusive content

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MILAN (Reuters) - Italy's top administrative court rejected a last resort request by Comcast's unit SKY Italia to remove content restrictions on the country's top pay-TV player, two sources familiar with the matter said.

Last year, Italy's competition watchdog imposed a three-year ban preventing SKY's Italian business from distributing exclusive content on its online video-streaming service platform, including lucrative soccer broadcasting rights.

The antitrust decision came after a pay-TV deal between SKY Italia and Italy's biggest commercial broadcaster Mediaset, which the regulator said would limit competition in a market where SKY was already a dominant player.

In June Italy's top administrative court confirmed the restrictions but SKY asked the court to revoke its decision.

In a statement SKY said it took note of Thursday's ruling, which does not affect content deals agreed before May last year.

"Such a decision inevitably curbs the company's scope for action and increase the group's disadvantages compared with online streaming platforms", SKY said.

(Reporting by Elvira Pollina; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

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