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Italian police block 1.5 mln illegal streaming accounts

MILAN, May 14 (Reuters) - Italian police have blocked 1.5 million users that were illegally streaming content from providers including Netflix Inc, Comcast’s Sky unit, DAZN and domestic broadcaster Mediaset.

A police statement said that more than 200 officers were involved in the operation, which led to 45 people being charged for alleged conspiracy to illegally access IT infrastructure and commit fraud.

Police said the seizing of a large central IT system in the Sicilian town of Messina had ensured the blocking of 80% of content illegally streamed over the internet through so-called internet protocol (IP) television.

The content is first acquired legally and then turned into audio and video flows to homes of final users.

The blocked accounts amount to about 11% of total users of streaming services in Italy based on sector estimates provided by Ampere Analysis. (Reporting by Valentina Za; additional reporting by Elvira Pollina;Editing by Elaine Hardcastle)

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