The Commission has been mulling the creation of FiberCop for almost three months now and today says that the move “cannot be considered a concentration under EU legislation”
TIM has today taken an important step towards the creation of FiberCop, with the EU Commission ruling that the deal can go ahead.
"The European Commission decided that the operation… cannot be considered a concentration under EU legislation and therefore does not need to be notified under the European Merger Regulation," said TIM in a statement.
Earlier this year, TIM spun-off its ‘last mile’ fibre network to create FiberCop, in which investment first KKR owns 37.5% and Fastweb retains 4.5% in the Flash Fiber joint venture. The idea behind the move is to allow numerous operators to co-invest in the fibre vehicle, thereby accelerating the adoption of ultra-broadband services around the country.
Earlier this week, Tiscali agreed to commercial participation in the FiberCop project, allowing Tiscali to activate new customers on the newly established network. Whether or not Tiscali will ultimately seek a stake in FiberCop is currently certain.
FiberCop is expected to begin operations early in 2021.
Further plans exist for an even larger broadband project, with the government seeking the merger of TIM’s FiberCop with Open Fiber, jointly owned by the Italian government and Enel. The current agreement suggests that TIM will own a majority stake in this joint venture, called AccessCo, with the government hoping the new company will help accelerate broadband rollout and avoid unnecessary infrastructure duplication.
However, the project does have its detractors, since it effectively recreates a fibre monolith with little domestic competition.
Will we see more operators looking to take a share in FiberCop? Hear from the experts themselves at this year’s virtual Connected Italy
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