September 12, 2018 / 5:47 PM / 12 days ago

UPDATE 1-Mediaset working on big deal in European TV sector - CEO

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ROME, Sept 12 (Reuters) - Italy's biggest private broadcaster Mediaset is working on a large merger or acquisition in Europe's TV sector, its chief executive said on Wednesday.

"We are working on something big and something complex... we believe in it," Pier Silvio Berlusconi said in reply to a question on European merger activity in the sector.

In June, Berlusconi said Mediaset was looking to create a pan-European broadcaster to fend off competition from traditional rivals and online content providers like Netflix .

Mediaset, controlled by the family of former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, tried to broaden its business in 2016 with a pay-TV agreement with French media giant Vivendi aimed at building a southern European media powerhouse.

But the deal fell through when Vivendi, which owns 28.8 percent of the Italian group, backtracked, leading to a court battle.

"When the deal is done, we'll announce it," Berlusconi said.

Reporting by Alberto Sisto, writing by Stephen Jewkes; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle

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