The European Commission (EC) gave a green light to a divisive sale of Telecom Italia fixed network spin-off NetCo to an entity controlled by US investment company KKR, after concluding there were no competition issues from the deal.

In the results of its investigation into the expected impact on the country’s wholesale broadband market, the EC outlined its belief there would be no significant reduction in the level of competition.

The authority noted the “market power of NetCo will not materially increase” from today given long-term agreements in place with other providers.

It highlighted a master services agreement (MSA) signed between the buyer and seller on the post transaction relationship between Telecom Italia and NetCo did not fall under the scope of its merger regulation.

Unconditional approval from the EC is the latest step forward in the sale to Optics BidCo, which has faced vocal opposition from some shareholders at the Italian operator, but has been heavily backed by its current management team.    

In a statement, Telecom Italia indicated the move meant the transaction could be completed on schedule, which has previously been announced as mid-2024.