Vivendi apparently offered to make concessions in order to gain EU approval to take control of Telecom Italia, although it is not clear if its proposals go far enough.
According to Reuters, Vivendi is willing to divest Persidera, a media distribution company in Italy owned by Telecom Italia. EU competition authorities sought input from rivals as to whether Persidera would be a viable competitor in the market for wholesale access to digital broadcast services.
The report noted some competitors are concerned the issue of how Vivendi could boost Telecom Italia’s market power was not addressed, including the potential to bundle Vivendi content with telecoms services, and the potential for the Italian operator to receive advantageous pricing from Vivendi.
Telecom Italia played down the reports, arguing: “the matter has not been the issue of any analysis, though preliminary, by either its management or corporate bodies”.
Italy’s communications watchdog already told Vivendi it cannot maintain its stakes in both Telecom Italia and media company Mediaset, due to ownership laws covering the media and telecoms sectors. Vivendi argued that despite having a significant stake, it does not control Mediaset.
Vivendi said its aim for Telecom Italia is to “create significant value” for customers, employees and shareholders.