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This chronology is indicative only. It covers -

Context is provided by the broader communications and media timeline on this site.

subsection heading icon     beginnings

1936 Silvio Berlusconi born

1960 Corte Costituzionale rules that state broadcaster RAI monopoly is unconstitutional

1962 Berlusconi establishes real estate development company Cantieri Riuniti Milanesi

1963 establishes Edilnord property and construction group

1969 builds Milano 2 residential development, later builds Milano 3 and Il Girasole developments

1974 founds cable television station Telemilano to service Milano 2

1975 establishes Fininvest holding group

1976 Corte Costituzionale ruling allows local radio and television

1978 founds 'virtual' national television network - local stations simultaneously broadcast the same programs

subsection heading icon     Canale 5 and Retequattro

1980 launches Canale 5 television network

1983 buys Italia Uno television network

1984 buys Retequattro television network

1984 prime minister Craxi's 'Berlusconi Decree' overturns court order banning Berlusconi from broadcasting

1985 buys stake in Mondadori publishing group

1985 buys cinema chain

subsection heading icon     La Cinq and La Standa

1985 launches La Cinq tv network in France in partnership with Jerome Seydoux

1986 Seydoux leaves La Cinq following elections, replaced by Robert Hersant

1986 becomes chair of AC Milan soccer club, with most equity in club

1987 involved in Telefunf network in Germany

1988 buys La Standa department store group

1989 takes stake in Telecinco network in Spain with Kirch

1990 Legge Mammi creates Berlusconi/RAI duopoly

1990 Hersant and Berlusconi withdraw from La Cinq

1990 bitter fight with de Benedetti for control of Mondadori and la Repubblica

1992-94 shrugs off bribery, tax fraud and creative accounting litigation during the Tagentopoli ("Bribesville") investigations

subsection heading icon     Forza Italia

1993 forms populist Forza Italia party

1994 Forza Italia becomes largest bloc in national parliament

1994 Belusconi becomes PM, with Forza Italia in coalition with neo-fascist Alleanza Nazionale and Northern League, but resigns at end of year

1995 sells 20% stake in Mediaset to Kirch and others for US$1.1 billion

reduces Mediaset stake to under 50% through a public flotation

1998 sells La Standa's discount store arm (167 locations)

1999 Epsilon MediaGroup established as 50% partnership with Kirch

subsection heading icon     Citizen Berlusconi?

2001 becomes PM again

2001 Mediaset buys Radio Italia (national commercial radio network), advertising agency Editoriale Sper, syndication company CNR and news agency AGR

2001 sells 9% stake in mobile phone operator Blu


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version of May 2002
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