Israel’s government is said to be considering forcing fixed line incumbent Bezeq to spin off its infrastructure assets with a view to boosting competition in the country’s telecoms sectors. According to Bloomberg, which cites two unnamed sources with knowledge of the matter, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office, the finance and telecommunications ministries, and the antitrust authority have commenced talks over the possible structural separation of Bezeq. These talks are, however, said to be at early stage, and could come to nothing, with a spin-off of Bezeq’s infrastructure reportedly just one option under consideration.
Meanwhile, it was noted that the talk of a possible structural separation could add further uncertainty to the sale of a sizeable stake in Bezeq. A group of investors, led by Israeli-American businessman Naty Saidoff, are already understood to be reconsidering an agreement to buy the assets of Eurocom Group – which includes a 26% holding in Bezeq, valued at ILS3.25 billion (USD922 million) – after the telco recently cut its dividend and pledged to overhaul its board of directors.