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Telecom Italia escapes fine over Vivendi control

Telecom Italia (TIM) has escaped being forced to pay a fine of €74.3 million for failing to communicate to the Italian state the fact that Vivendi had effective control of the operator.

A Milan court suspended the fine and has said it will set out its reasons on July 4, according to a press report.

The move follows a procedure launched by the Italian government last September over the operator’s alleged failure to inform in a timely way of French media giant Vivendi’s effective control. Vivendi has a stake of about 24% in the operator. Vivendi has consistently denied exercising control of TIM.

Last month Vivendi’s majority on TIM’s board was overturned after hedge fund Elliott Advisors secured the majority support of shareholders for an alternative slate, although Vivendi-supported CEO Amos Genish was confirmed in his position.

Separately, Italian communications regulator AGCOM has said that TIM’s proposal for the separation of its infrastructure arm is admissible for a market analysis.

The regulator pushed back evaluating the suitability of the proposal as a way to ensure competition in the market by submitting it to a national public consultation.

TIM’s board approved the company’s plan to create a separate legal entity for the infrastructure arm, 100% owned by TIM, in March.

The move came after the Italian government triggered its ‘golden power’ to intervene in cases concerning assets of strategic national significance.