Vivendi could assume control of Telecom Italia after a shareholder meeting in May, the French media group told the European Commission (EC).

Citing three sources, Reuters reported Vivendi filed a pre-emptive notification to the EC which revealed its intentions to take “de facto control” of the Italian operator.

The shareholder meeting will see the company appoint a new board of directors, and there is heavy speculation Vivendi CEO Arnaud de Puyfontaine is among the front runners to be named as chairman of Telecom Italia.

According to Reuters’ sources, Vivendi is also looking to increase its influence over Telecom Italia by winning two thirds of the company’s board seats.

The spotlight recently fell on Vivendi’s 24 per cent stake in Telecom Italia and its wider intentions in the Italian market, after the group also began to increase its holding in Italian broadcaster Mediaset.

Italian regulator Agcom is looking into the situation, with speculation mounting the French group may be seeking to combine the two companies.

However, news Vivendi intends to take control of Telecom Italia, of which it is the largest single shareholder, comes despite the company consistently denying having any interest in making such a move.

Indeed, Vivendi chairman Vincent Bollore said in 2016 it did not want to manage an operator, and its investments in Telecom Italia were in line with its wider content ambitions.

An EC representative reportedly confirmed receipt of Vivendi’s notification, and said the commission would issue a ruling on the move on 12 May.

The Telecom Italia shareholder meeting is scheduled to take place on 4 May.