Italy OKs TIM-Fastweb FTTH deal
April 12, 2018
From Branislav Pekic in Rome
Italy’s Competition and Market Authority (Autorità Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato) has given its go-ahead for plans by TIM and Fastweb to build a FTTH fibre-optic network covering 29 biggest Italian cities via the joint company Flash Fiber.
In a statement, the antitrust body said it accepted the binding commitments presented by the two operators, thus ending the investigation, launched in February 2017, to ascertain possible restrictions on competition in the markets for wholesale access services.
The worry was that the deal could potentially establish a significant degree of coordination between the parties on strategic choices relating to fixed broadband and ultra-broadband networks, reducing the intensity of competition.
During the investigation, TIM and Fastweb presented six remedies and the authority considered that the commitments are suitable to overcome the competitive concerns.
These include a precise timetable for the implementation of the FTTH network (30 per cent by 2017; 70 per cent by 2018; 85 per cent by 2019; 95 per cent by 2020); abolishment of the pre-emptive right on the network capacity of Flash Fiber; the introduction of autonomous offers of VULA and NGA bitstream services by Telecom Italia and Fastweb on non-discriminatory terms; backdating of the closing date of Flash Fiber to 2035; modification of co-investment agreements; and measures to prevent the exchange of commercially-sensitive information between the parties through Flash Fiber.
According to the regulator, the project, as modified by the presented commitments, will favour the development of infrastructural competition in the markets of fixed network telecommunications and will allow a rapid national coverage with Next Generation Networks.