Italy’s communications regulator turned down Telecom Italia SpA’s plan to separate its landline network, arguing that a spinoff of the indebted carrier’s most valuable asset would not help boost competition in the domestic market.
Green-lighting the project, proposed last year by then-Telecom Italia chief executive officer Amos Genish, would let the former phone monopoly continue to enjoy “a significant competitive advantage” nationwide except in Milan, Agcom said in a document posted on its Web site over the weekend.
A separation would not ease any regulatory burden, according to the Italian government agent, which cited Telecom Italia’s plan to retain full control of the grid.
A representative for Telecom Italia declined to comment.
Agcom is to put its ruling, which was earlier reported by Bloomberg, to a 45-day public consultation. After that, the regulator is to make a final decision.
Analysts have estimated the value of the network at 15 billion euros (US$17.06 billion). The grid, which Telecom Italia rivals access to provide their own broadband services, is considered of national importance to the government.
The notion of spinning off Telecom Italia’s fixed-line business has for years been debated by the country’s telecom industry. The subject has also been a controversial issue in Italy, whose government led by Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte favors the creation of a single network company partially owned by state lender Cassa Depositi e Prestiti, which holds almost 5 percent of Telecom Italia.
Italian Deputy Prime Minister Luigi di Maio has said he might push for a merger of the grid with Open Fiber, which is backed by utility Enel SpA and Cassa Depositi e Prestiti.
Agcom’s decision might lead Luigi Gubitosi, who took over as Telecom Italia’s CEO in November last year, to withdraw the proposal in its current form, people familiar with the matter said.
The company faces growing competition and is struggling under one of the European telecom industry’s biggest debt burdens and heavy pension liabilities. It has not paid a dividend on its ordinary shares since 2013. The stock lost more than 30 percent of its value in the past 12 months.
Telecom Italia last week reported an slowdown in its home market and predicted that pressure from competitors would continue to hold back earnings this year.
Polytronics Technology Corp (聚鼎科技) yesterday announced that it is buying Henkel AG’s thermal clad dielectric material (TCLAD) business division for US$26 million as the Taiwanese firm aims to improve its technology, product portfolio and revenue performance. Polytronics, headquartered in the Hsinchu Science Park (新竹科學園區), is a supplier of protection components and heat dissipation materials. The firm entered the metallic heat-dissipation substrate market in 2007 and developed a unique solventless production process. Its board of directors approved signing an agreement with Henkel to acquire the German chemical firm’s TCLAD division in the US. The purchase includes all assets and business interests, including equipment,
SIZE MATTERS: Medium-sized hotels that do not have the support of parent groups are more vulnerable and are forced to take action, a REPro Knight Frank researcher said About 50 hotels across Taiwan are seeking to exit the market as they succumb to the bleak business outlook amid international travel restrictions imposed to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. Yomi Hotel (優美飯店) on Minsheng E Road, Sec 1, in Taipei is seeking to transfer ownership with an asking price of NT$950 million (US$32.15 million) and a pledge for a lease contract that guarantees a 3 percent return. The budget hotel, with room rates that start from NT$1,400 per night, maintains normal operations, but has been struggling since March, when the government placed restrictions on inbound and outbound travel. Occupancy rates for hotels in
With the US dollar expected to weaken in the next 12 months due to near-zero interest rates, investors should consider purchasing US corporate bonds, Standard Chartered Bank Taiwan Ltd (渣打台灣銀行) said on Thursday. The bank said that the US Federal Reserve since last month has been buying bonds issued by US companies to curb default rates. The US dollar is forecast to be weaker against the pound, the euro and the yen, as well as the Canadian dollar, the Swedish krona and the Swiss franc, as the greenback lacks high investment returns after the Fed in March slashed the benchmark interest rate
A Bollywood actor’s face tattooed on his arm, Sandeep Bacche’s devotion shocks few in India where stars enjoy semi-divine status, but even there the hallowed silver screen might be losing its shine to streaming services and pandemic fears. “Whenever things get better and theaters begin operations, I will watch three movies a day for sure just as a way to celebrate,” said the Mumbai rickshaw driver, who is recovering from the virus himself. However, others might not join the party. With cinemas shut for months due to a COVID-19 lockdown, and little prospect they will reopen soon, frustrated Bollywood producers have turned to