Telecom Italia in government talks on fixed network - Mobile World Live

Telecom Italia in government talks on fixed network

27 OCT 2017

Telecom Italia’s chairman said its fixed-line network is strategic for the company and it is working with the government to come up with a “shared solution” on what to do with it, La Repubblica reported.

“Speaking of a separation of the network could make sense with a view to creating an even more neutral platform and reducing the digital gap in the country,” Arnaud de Puyfontaine (pictured) said in an interview.

The chairman said he is working “on this front with pragmatism” with the operator’s CEO, Amos Genish, adding: “We understand the national interest…the important issue is to meet the interest of all stakeholders”.

In September the operator denied speculation it would sell its fixed copper network after Italy’s finance and economy minister Pier Carlo Padoan said a spin-off could be beneficial for the country.

“It is a mechanism which boosts efficiency and competition and should thus be done where possible,” Padoan had said in August.

Telecom Italia’s fixed-line network is estimated to be worth up to €15 billion and talk of a potential acquisition by the state was mooted in the past.

Earlier this month, the Italian government  exercised “golden power” over Telecom Italia, placing special requirements on the company’s management amid concern over Vivendi’s growing influence.

On this, de Puyfontaine said: “I share the position of the government on national security issues, we accept the golden power, and we will look at the things that are being asked for, taking care that the interventions do not hurt the company’s operational activity”.

Vivendi and the Italian authorities have been in an ongoing debate over who effectively controls Telecom Italia. Vivendi holds a 24 per cent stake in the company making it the largest single shareholder, and the operator’s management includes a number of representatives from the French media giant.

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Saleha Riaz

Saleha joined Mobile World Live in October 2014 as a reporter and works across all e-newsletters - creating content, writing blogs and reports as well as conducting feature interviews...More

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