In a bid to speed up the roll-out of ultra-fast broadband across Italy, the Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said on Monday that the state might consider raising its stake in TIM, the former phone monopoly. The Italian government believes that building an ultra-fast broadband network will be key to reviving and boosting the economy after the damaging impact of COVID-19.
The government has called on TIM and its rival Open Fiber to reach a rapid agreement to create a single network in a bid to avoid duplicating investments which could prove costly. Open Fiber, who operates a wholesale-only network, is jointly owned by Enel and state lender Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP). CDP is also TIM’s second largest shareholder, owning a 10% stake, with France’s Vivendi owning 25%.
Despite ongoing talks, TIM and Open Fiber have just to reach an agreement over merging their network assets due to differences over governance and regulation, among other issues.
According to Reuters, the founder of the senior coalition party 5-Star Movement, Beppe Grillo published a blogpost calling on CDP to increase its stake in TIM to approximately 25% thereby equalling Vivendi’s holding.
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