Sunday, 01 November 2020

EU regulators likely to oppose Italy’s plan to create single, national fibre provider

by Harry Baldock, Total Telecom
Thursday 17 September 20

Reports suggest that the European Commission is concerned about the creation of a fibre monopoly in the hands of Telecom Italia (TIM)

Reports are suggesting that the European Commission is uneasy about the current deal being finalised between TIM and Open Fiber to create a single national fibre provider and may legally oppose its formation when the time comes.  …

Reports are suggesting that the European Commission is uneasy about the current deal being finalised between TIM and Open Fiber to create a single national fibre provider and may legally oppose its formation when the time comes.

 

The Italian government has sought the consolidation of TIM and Open Fiber for a long time now, seeing the combining of resources as an efficient way of hitting national broadband targets and avoiding the expenditure caused by the unnecessary duplication of infrastructure by competing operators. TIM, however, has been less keen over the idea, seeking majority ownership over any joint venture – terms that the government have been loath to agree to. 

 

That is, however, until the end of last month, when the government finally offered TIM majority control of the joint enterprise, to be called AccessCo, provided the operator adhere to strict governance rules to protect minority stakeholders.

 

While TIM’s acceptance of this initial proposal is a great success for the government, forming AccessCo may still face opposition. The European Commission is reportedly concerned that the creation of this new entity will create a fibre monopoly and undermine competition.

 

The Commission itself has yet to officially cast judgement over the move, since it has yet to be formally finalised on a national level, but, needless to say, the regulator will be watching the deal’s development very carefully over the coming weeks.

 

What would a single national fibre provider for Italy mean for its telecoms ecosystem? Find out from the experts at this year’s Connected Italy

Also in the news:
More chipmakers apply for US licence to sell to Huawei as sanctions kick in
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