Telecom Italia (TI) looked to quash speculation about a tie-up with Orange, with Giuseppe Recchi, chairman of the Italian player, stating that there had been no contact about an alliance.
It was reported earlier this month that Orange head Stephane Richard had described such a deal as “very attractive”, but that it is a “purely internal discussion”.
Reuters now said that Recchi had confirmed that there is “nothing on the table”, and that Telecom Italia is “focused on the Italian and Brazilian markets”.
In many ways, an alliance between the two would make sense: there is no overlap between Orange’s European and African markets and those of TI in Europe and Latin America.
There has also been a renewed focus on dealmaking in Europe, although the focus has been on in-market consolidation rather than cross-border alliances.
Telecom Italia, which has struggled with its debt burden, is often seen as a potential target, with its Brazilian assets particularly regarded as attractive.
But it is also seeing signs of stabilisation in its home market, having invested heavily in improving the quality of its fixed and mobile networks.