Reports from Italy are suggesting that merger talks have resumed between Hong Kong-based Hutchison Whampoa’s 3 Italia unit and the Vimpelcom-backed cellco Wind Telecomunicazioni. While local newspaper La Repubblica says the merger talks are at an ‘advanced’ stage, unnamed sources quoted by Bloomberg suggest there is still some way to go before the two sides reach an agreement, with Hutch keen to have a controlling stake in the merged entity and Vimpelcom looking for a 50:50 split. If the tie-up between Italy’s number three and four mobile players did go ahead, the merged firm would take top spot in the market, just ahead of Telecom Italia and close rival Vodafone.
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