TIM explores network separation

Telecom Italia (TIM), whose top shareholder is France’s Vivendi, has said it will look into whether a separation of its fixed line network is needed to address competition concerns from Italian authorities.

Italy’s biggest phone group will also pursue talks with Mediaset on a new content deal, a move sources say could help settle a bitter dispute between Vivendi and the broadcaster owned by former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, according to a Reuters report.

TIM is under pressure from Italian politicians, regulators and rival firms to separate and upgrade its network, an asset analysts have valued at up to €15 billion. The pressure has intensified since Vivendi, which has a 24 per cent stake in TIM, began to exert greater influence, raising concerns within the Italian government.

“Over the coming months, the management will continue to examine various hypothesis to establish whether network separation is needed to address institutions’ input and to unlock value,” TIM said in a statement.

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