Italy’s Antitrust Authority has opened proceedings against Telecom Italia and Fastweb for possible uncompetitive practices regarding their joint fibre optic venture Flash Fiber.
Flash Fiber aims to build fibre-optic networks in FTTH architecture in Italy’s 29 biggest cities already covered by FTTC by 2020. The two companies plan to invest over €1 billion in the venture. At the end of 2016 Flash Fiber has reached had already 200,000 households.
According to the Antitrust – Autorità Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato – the agreement may “potentially prevent, restrict or falsify competition on the national wholesale markets for access to fixed networks, retail broadband and ultra-wide band telecommunications services”.
Fastweb and Telecom Italia have denied any wrongdoing and said they would cooperate fully with the authorities.
The news comes after Fastweb announced 2016 full year financials, with a strong increase for the third year in a row in customers, revenues and margin.
Customers were up 7 per cent (+154,000 on 2015) to a total of 2.4 million. 34 per cent of customers are connected to Fastweb’s proprietary NGN, with 810,000 customers connected through its FTTx network (+25 per cent on 2015),. Fastweb confirms its market position as co-leader in Italy’s ultra-broadband market with 34 per cent of market share.
In 2016 Fastweb extended its fibre infrastructure footprint to a further 1.2 million homes and businesses, reaching a total of 7.5 million, of which 2.2 reached by FTTH and 5.3 million with FTTC.