The Italian government's decree forcing clubs from the top two football divisions, Serie A and Serie B, to sell their media rights collectively through the football league, Lega Calcio, will become law in early 2008. It removes the clubs' freedom to sell the media rights to their home games, a freedom they won in 1999. The government claims that it will bring greater competitive balance to a football championship which has increasingly been dominated by three clubs: Juventus, Internazionale and AC Milan. But an obvious question arises: With all of the economic and social problems facing Italy, can tinkering with the football league really be a government priority? The real target of the law is not football, of course, but a television market which has for years has been duopolistic, complacent and collusive.Download
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