Reuters | Sep 09, 2020 18:55
MILAN (Reuters) - The head of Vodafone Group (L:VOD) said Italy's plan to create a single fast broadband network in which Telecom Italia (MI:TLIT) would hold a majority stake could be a step backwards since it effectively amounted to renationalisation and re-monopolisation.
In an article in Politico on Wednesday, Nick Read said Rome was looking to recreate the fixed-line monopoly that previous Italian governments and EU institutions had dismantled.
"This would leave would-be fixed broadband providers with only one seller of wholesale access to the combined network - yet again Telecom Italia (TIM)," he said.
Last month TIM (MI:TLIT) and state lender CDP agreed to create a national ultrafast grid operator combining the former phone monopoly's network assets with those of smaller rival Open Fiber.
Such an operator could be majority-owned by TIM but its independence and third-party status would be guaranteed by a shared governance mechanism with CDP, which would emerge as a major shareholder in the venture, open to other players.
Vodafone offers mobile and fixed-line services in Italy, and is one of Open Fiber's biggest commercial clients.
The Italian government sees the single broadband network as a strategic priority to help Italy close a yawning technological gap with other countries and boost its stagnant economy by increasing digitalisation.
Read said it had only been with the creation of Open Fiber a few years ago that Italy had started to modernise its fixed networks, providing more comparable high-speed services to those of other EU member countries.
"Reverting to a failed monopoly model cannot possibly be good for either competition or investment. It also contravenes four decades of anti-monopolistic policy and EU law," he said.
TIM and CDP declined to comment.
Written By: Reuters
Trading in financial instruments and/or cryptocurrencies involves high risks including the risk of losing some, or all, of your investment amount, and may not be suitable for all investors. Prices of cryptocurrencies are extremely volatile and may be affected by external factors such as financial, regulatory or political events. Trading on margin increases the financial risks.
Before deciding to trade in financial instrument or cryptocurrencies you should be fully informed of the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, carefully consider your investment objectives, level of experience, and risk appetite, and seek professional advice where needed.
Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. The data and prices on the website are not necessarily provided by any market or exchange, but may be provided by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual price at any given market, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Fusion Media and any provider of the data contained in this website will not accept liability for any loss or damage as a result of your trading, or your reliance on the information contained within this website.
It is prohibited to use, store, reproduce, display, modify, transmit or distribute the data contained in this website without the explicit prior written permission of Fusion Media and/or the data provider. All intellectual property rights are reserved by the providers and/or the exchange providing the data contained in this website.
Fusion Media may be compensated by the advertisers that appear on the website, based on your interaction with the advertisements or advertisers.
Get free real time quotes, charts and alerts on stocks, indices, currencies, commodities and bonds. Get free top of the line technical analysis/predictors.
More content, faster quotes and charts, and a smoother experience is available only on the App.