An Italian court ratified the suspension of a €74.3 million fine imposed on Telecom Italia for failing to declare Vivendi controlled the operator, a further sign of improved relations with authorities following changes at its helm.
Reuters reported a review of the issue would take place in May 2019. The fine, imposed in Q1 2018, was suspended last month subject to confirmation from authorities yesterday (5 July).
Telecom Italia was slapped with the fine after an investigation into whether largest shareholder Vivendi took effective control of the operator in 2017, when it won a majority of the company’s board and appointed its CEO as chairman. Vivendi lost control of the operator’s board in May 2018.
The ownership fine was one of a number of public disagreements between Vivendi-led Telecom Italia and authorities in Italy during 2017, several of which have been resolved – including on spinning-off its fixed network.
Earlier this week, news emerged Vivendi’s appeal on another of its issues with regulators in Italy would be delayed until “after the Summer”.
A separate Reuters report revealed the timeline for its hearing on a tussle between regulator Agcom and Vivendi on media ownership, which dates back to April 2017.
The authority had told the France-headquarted company to cut its stake in either Telecom Italia or broadcaster Mediaset to meet strict media ownership rules in the country, action Vivendi vowed legal action over but eventually complied with.
At the time of the order, Vivendi held a 24 per cent stake in Telecom Italia and almost 29 per cent in Mediaset. To meet the demand it transferred 19 per cent of its Mediaset into a trust fund.
Should Vivendi win its appeal it would be free to transfer the whole stake back into its direct ownership.