The international parent companies of Wind and 3 Italy are back round the table to discuss a merger of their Italian operations, according to Reuters.

Encouraged by the European Commission’s decision to allow consolidation in Ireland, VimpelCom (which controls Wind), has – according to sources – hired Morgan Stanley to advise on the deal.

Hutchison Whampoa, owner of 3 Italy, is working with Goldman Sachs.

Discussion between the two firms have been sporadic over the past six months, but partial refinancing of Wind’s hefty debt (€9.5 billion) – and what seems like a more accommodating attitude from Brussels towards mobile network mergers – has kick-started talks, said sources.

The fiercely competitive and highly regulated Italian market has taken its toll on VimpelCom. Sales from its Italian operation during the first quarter fell 7 per cent, year-on-year, to €1.14 billion. Mobile service revenue was down 11 per cent, to €729 million.