A leaked letter to Italy’s antitrust regulator and a statement from Swisscom’s CEO could both push forward Vodafone’s designs on the Italian fixed market.
According to Reuters, Vodafone has warned AGCM — Italy’s competition regulator — against fixed incumbent Telecom Italia (TI) buying Metroweb, which runs a fibre network in Milan.
TI approached F2i Sgr, Metroweb’s largest shareholder, about a deal.
The head of AGCM has already said the bar will be set high for any TI purchase of Metroweb.
As an alternative to an incumbent buy, all the country’s so-called other licensed operators (OLOs) should be allowed to jointly own Metroweb, suggested Vodafone in a letter.
Plus all the fibre operator’s shareholders should have a voice in appointing its board, it adds. The letter is dated 27 November.
The country’s OLOs are Fastweb, Wind and Tiscali, in addition to Vodafone.
Moreover, Fastweb — another fibre operator — might also become part of the action, following the news that Fastweb owner Swisscom is willing to sell, at the right price.
“If somebody came to us offering a fantastic price we would look into this,” Urs Schaeppi said during an interview with Bloomberg.
However, he added that a sale is not currently part of its plans and Swisscom is happy with Fastweb.
Vodafone is thought to be interested in Fastweb, which runs fibre networks in a number of leading Italian cities.