Italy distances itself from Telecom Italia merger with Telefónica

Italy’s government has denied being involved in a merger of the country’s incumbent telco Telecom Italia with Spanish counterpart Telefónica.

In a statement, the government said it had held no meetings on the issue, adding that that it has not detailed any conditions for a possible merger either. It denied a report in La Repubblica that it is prepared to give the green light to an all-share offer from Telefónica for Telecom Italia, providing the Italian group’s domestic fixed-line network remains under local management. The newspaper claimed the Italian government changed its view on a potential merger after broadcast group Mediaset, which is owned by Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s family, bought into Telefónica in December. Telefonica is expected to make an offer soon, the paper said.

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