ROME (Reuters) - Italy is preparing legislation to make hostile company takeovers harder, and the government hopes parliament will approve it by March, a senator from the ruling Democratic Party (PD) said on Friday.

Salvatore Tomaselli told Reuters that the legislation, to be presented as an amendment to a bill on market competition already before parliament, will aim at increasing transparency requirements in takeover operations.

It envisages that once investors have increased their stake above certain thresholds, they may be forced to state their final objectives, Tomaselli said, adding that Italy wants to make its takeover rules more stringent "like those in France."

The government initiative follows aggressive stakebuilding by French media group Vivendi <VI.PA>, which has increased its holding of Italian broadcaster Mediaset <MS.MI> to almost 29 percent.


(Reporting by Giuseppe Fonte, writng by Gavin Jones)

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