Italy’s competition watchdog, Autorita Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato (AGCM), has said that a buyout of fibre network operator Metroweb by former monopoly Telecom Italia (TI) would face stringent conditions. Reuters quotes AGCM chairman Giovanni Pitruzzella as saying: ‘Such a move would merit a particularly serious evaluation,’ though he did not elaborate on any measures which could be taken to ensure that competition in the market is not hampered by the deal.
As reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, last week TI sent a proposal to infrastructure investment fund F2i regarding the possible acquisition of its stake in Metroweb, though F2i has yet to start a formal sale procedure. Metroweb – valued at around EUR400 million (USD501 million) – is 87.7%-owned by Metroweb Italia, which is itself owned by F2i (53.8%) and state-backed holding company Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP) via its FSI fund (46.2%). Metroweb has fibre infrastructure in Milan, Genoa, Turin and Bologna, with connections to the main urban centres in northern Italy.