Swisscom’s Italian ISP subsidiary Fastweb is calling on the European Commission (EC) to investigate the French telco Iliad’s proposed acquisition of assets from 3 Italia and Wind Telecomunicazioni. 3 and Wind are looking to merge their operations, and they want to sell spectrum and network infrastructure to Iliad to allow it to set up as a new mobile network operator (MNO) in Italy, to ensure that the country’s mobile market still retains four players. They are hoping this will appease the EC’s concerns over the effect the tie-up will have on competition in the sector.
Fastweb, however, which was also in the running to acquire the assets on offer, wants the EC to study whether Iliad’s offer can match its own proposals for investment and network coverage. Its statement reads: ‘In recent months Fastweb worked at its own plan to establish the fourth fully-infrastructured mobile operator. The project, that was deemed suitable by the Commission to safeguard competition in the Italian mobile market, envisages coverage of 100% of Italy with 4G and 5G-ready technologies. Fastweb believes its plan suitable to promote competition and the digital development of the country, providing significant investments as … has always been the case since its inception. We hope that Iliad’s proposal can guarantee the same level of investment and development and we ask that it is submitted to consultation of the market by the Commission.’