Vodafone says other carriers should be allowed to take Metroweb stake

Reuters News
Posted: Dec 03, 2014 6:51 AM

MILAN (Reuters) - The Italian arm of mobile phone group Vodafone believes that so-called other licensed operators (OLO) should be allowed to take a stake in Metroweb if infrastructure fund F2i sells its controlling holding in the Italian fiber optic network firm, Vodafone said in a letter to Italy's competition watchdog AGCM.

Vodafone, which along with former Italian phone monopoly Telecom Italia has expressed an interest in buying Metroweb, also asked that all Metroweb shareholders be allowed to appoint board members, saying this would be the only way to ensure independence of the network.

In the Nov. 27 letter seen by Reuters, Vodafone said a sale of Metroweb to Telecom Italia would damage competition.

Besides Vodafone, other OLOs in Italy are broadband operator Fastweb, a unit of Swisscom, and mobile carrier Wind, which is controlled by Russia's Vimpelcom.

On Nov. 25, AGCM said Telecom Italia's planned acquisition of Metroweb would be possible under very stringent conditions.

(Reporting by Stefano Rebaudo; writing by Danilo Masoni; editing by Agnieszka Flak)