Italy’s Competition Authority (Autorita Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato, AGCM) has opened an investigation into the proposed acquisition of mobile network towers by Spanish tower firm Cellnex. Hong Kong-based group CK Hutchison agreed a EUR10 billion (USD11.9 billion) deal last year to sell its mobile towers in six European countries to Cellnex. The agreements in Austria, Denmark, Ireland and Sweden were finalised in January, with only the UK and Italian sides of the deal still to be completed.
The competition watchdog has expressed concerns that the Italian sale could concentrate too much of the country’s passive tower market in the hands of a single player, which could mean that there is less incentive to invest in new infrastructure. CK Hutchison’s Italian subsidiary, WINDTRE, is the country’s second largest cellco and also a major provider of fixed broadband services.