Source reportedly claims that concession would not remove Italian incumbent’s unfair advantage.
Vivendi has offered to sell Persidera, Telecom Italia’s broadcasting services arm, in a bid to win over EU competition watchdogs.
This is according to a Reuters report late last week, which said the European Commission subsequently sought feedback from rivals about whether Persidera could function as a viable competitor in the market for wholesale access to digital TV broadcast networks.
Vivendi, which is Telecom Italia’s biggest single shareholder with a stake of 23.94%, recently gained control of two-thirds of the operator’s board. It has submitted commitments to the European Commission in a bid to head off any antitrust concerns.
A source cited by Reuters last week said that Vivendi’s offer to sell Persidera would not remove Telecom Italia’s unfair advantage over rival service providers.
For instance, Vivendi would still be in a position to offer better terms and prices for its content to Telecom Italia than to competitors, the source said.
The European Commission is due to issue a decision on 30 May.
Selling Persidera would still not address the concerns of Italian telco regulator, L’Autorità per le Garanzie nelle Comunicazioni (AGCOM), either.
The watchdog in April ordered Vivendi to pare down its stake in either Telecom Italia, or Mediaset – the Italian media outfit in which Vivendi holds almost 29%. In order to safeguard media pluralism, competition law in Italy prevents single entities wielding influence in both telcos and media companies.
Vivendi plans to challenge AGCOM’s order, claiming that it does not exercise a dominant influence over Mediaset.