Marco Patuano, Telecom Italia’s chief executive, said the company is interested in buying some or all of the controlling stake in Milan-based fibre operator Metroweb held by asset management firm F2i .

“We have offered two options: a total purchase (of F2i’s stake) or a partial one. There will be talks soon,” said Patuano.  His comments were reported by Reuters.

A bid for Metroweb by Telecom Italia, the country’s largest fixed operator, is a ticklish regulatory issue.

Rival bidder Vodafone has reportedly written to Italy’s antitrust regulator expressing concern about the Italian incumbent gaining controlling of the fibre operator.

Instead, Vodafone suggested an alternative whereby the country’s so-called other licensed operators (OLOs) should jointly own Metroweb.

Fastweb, Wind and Tiscali, in addition to Vodafone, are Italy’s OLOs.