Agcom rejects TIM’s network spin-off plans as telco issues profit warning

21 Jan 2019

Italy’s Communications Regulatory Authority (Autorita per le Garanzie nelle Comunicazioni, Agcom) has rejected proposals put forward by Telecom Italia (TIM) for the spin-off of its fixed networks business into a separate, wholly-owned division. According to a report from Bloomberg, Agcom fears that the separation would not help boost competition in the domestic market and would let the incumbent benefit from ‘a significant competitive advantage’, except in Milan where extensive networks have been deployed by rival operators. In addition, a spin-off would not work to ease the regulatory burden.

Agcom is opening a 45-day public consultation to enable interested parties to comment on its decision, following which it will issue its final verdict. There have been calls within Italy for TIM to carry out a full structural split and for its network assets to be merged with those of state-backed wholesale infrastructure provider Open Fiber.

Meanwhile, TIM has issued a profit warning ahead of the release of its full-year 2018 financial results. The telco is expecting core earnings to fall by a mid-single digit figure, Reuters reports. TIM shareholders Vivendi and Elliott Advisors are currently locked in a battle for control of the company, with a meeting scheduled for 29 March to vote on a proposal by Vivendi to replace five board members nominated by Elliott.

Italy, Telecom Italia (TIM)