Italy’s undersecretary not aware of talks with Telecom Italia over network spin-off

PRATO, Italy – (Reuters) – The Italian government is not currently talking to Telecom Italia about the idea of spinning off the group’s fixed-line network, a junior minister said on Monday.

After French media company Vivendi became Telecom Italia’s top shareholder, Italy’s government has been discussing if and how to intervene over Telecom Italia’s assets it considers strategic, including the group’s network as well as its Telsy and Sparkle units.

“Not that I’m aware of,” telecommunication undersecretary Antonello Giacomelli said when asked about potential talks between the government and the company on separating the network.

Giacomelli said he thought a single telecoms network was a good idea but added he did not think a merger between Telecom Italia’s network and that being developed by broadband group Open Fiber could come about using public money or through politics.

“It’s an industrial process, through the market,” he said.

(Reporting by Stephen Jewks; writing by Francesca Landini)

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