Telecom Italia, which offers fixed and mobile services under the TIM brand, has confirmed that it will appeal against a regulatory ruling that says French firm Vivendi has de facto control of the Italian telco. TIM’s board voted in favour of the move earlier this week, the company said in a statement. Ten of TIM’s 15 board members are nominated by Vivendi.
As reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate last week, Italy’s financial markets regulator Consob (Commissione Nazionale per le Societa e la Borsa) has ruled that Vivendi does have de facto control of TIM. The Consob decision means that Vivendi could face a fine for failing to notify the authorities of a change of ownership at TIM, which is considered a strategic national asset. The Italian government could also choose to use ‘golden powers’ which allow it to veto decisions which may be deemed to go against the national interest, or TIM could be forced to offload strategic parts of its business, such as its network operations or international wholesale arm Sparkle.