An Italian appeals court Saturday upheld most of a $1 billion award granted media firm Compagnie Industriali Riunite SpA in 2007.
The appeals court in Milan, Italy, ordered Fininvest SpA to pay $797 million to CIR in a case that began in the 1980s and concerned the purchase of Italian publisher Arnoldo Mondadori Editore SpA,. The Wall Street Journal reported.
Fininvest, the holding company controlled by Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, and CIR both believed they had the rights to Mondadori and went to court to settle the matter.
It was resolved with the courts deciding in favor of Fininvest in 1991. But the matter was revisited in 2007, when Italy's highest appeals court ruled that a Fininvest lawyer had bribed a judge in 1991 to secure the earlier judiciary ruling in Fininvest's favor.
In the subsequent legal battle, Fininvest was ordered to pay CIR a penalty slightly over $1 billion. Finivest appealed that ruling, which was decided Saturday. The British Broadcasting Corp. reported that Berlusconi is no stranger to the courtroom. In 2009, by Berlusconi's estimate, he has made 2,500 court appearances over the years, spending $285 million in legal fees along the way.