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Mediaset May Cut Jobs in Italy on Economic Slump, Chairman Says

March 7 (Bloomberg) -- Mediaset SpA, Italy’s biggest private broadcaster, may have to reduce staff if the Italian economy continues to lag behind that of Europe, forcing the company to cut costs, Chairman Fedele Confalonieri said.

The size of Italy’s advertising market last year was similar in real terms as it was in 2002, Confalonieri told a parliamentary committee in Rome today.

“If there aren’t signs of a recovery, cutting our billions in investment and our 2 billion euros in costs becomes indispensable,” he said. “For brevity’s sake, I don’t want to go into the obvious consequences that such action would have on employment levels.”

Confalonieri said that the government’s commitment to European Union allies to balance the budget next year would weigh on economic growth and “a medium term strategy that also focused on development” is needed.

Mediaset’s biggest shareholder is Fininvest SpA, the company owned by Silvio Berlusconi’s family.

To contact the reporter on this story: Andrew Davis in Rome at abdavis@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Tim Quinson at tquinson@bloomberg.net

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