Vodafone chief against Italian network merger

11 Sep 2020

The CEO of Vodafone Group says proposals to create a single national broadband network in Italy would be a step backwards. Nick Read has spoken out against government-backed plans to combine infrastructure owned by Telecom Italia (TIM) and Open Fiber: ‘This would leave would-be fixed broadband providers with only one seller of wholesale access to the combined network – yet again Telecom Italia.’

Although TIM would have to share control of the networks vehicle with other shareholders, it would still be majority owned by the incumbent telco. Reuters quotes Read as saying: ‘Reverting to a failed monopoly model cannot possibly be good for either competition or investment. It also contravenes four decades of anti-monopolistic policy and EU law.’ Vodafone is one of TIM’s main rivals in Italy’s fixed and mobile markets.