No share swap: TI and News Corp

9 Aug 2006

Telecom Italia (TI) and News Corp have both denied reports that they are considering a tie-up which could see the media firm taking a stake in Italy’s dominant telco. The firms say there have been discussions relating to TI carrying News Corp media content on its various internet portals, but there has been no talk of a share swap as rumoured in the Italian press this week; reports from local newspapers have suggested that News Corp might take an 18% interest in TI or its holding company Olimpia in return for a stake in the satellite TV firm Sky Italia. Telecom Italia has also dismissed talk of it spinning off its fixed line division, although the Italian government is keen to see the telco separate its network business from its retail operations. Reuters reports that the government is poised to block any move which would result in foreign ownership of Italy’s wireline infrastructure.

Italy, Telecom Italia (TIM)