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TIM and Open Fiber deal could require asset disposals

28 Oct 2022

The EU is likely to impose conditions on a proposed deal to combine Italy’s two main fixed communications network owners. A report from Reuters, which cites sources close to the matter, says that European antitrust officials could require the disposal of some fibre network assets for the merger to be given the green light. Italian state lender Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP) wants to acquire the fixed network business of Telecom Italia (TIM) and merge it with wholesale operator Open Fiber. CDP owns 60% of Open Fiber and almost 10% of TIM.

The sources say that TIM and CDP held separate talks with officials in Brussels over the proposed tie-up and there are concerns that the deal could hamper competition in 10-20 cities where the TIM and Open Fiber networks overlap to a large extent. This could require the sale of some fibre network assets, which may cause further delays to the multi-billion-euro transaction.

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