Telecom Italia boss says no to broadband merger with OpEn Fiber

Alan Burkitt-Gray
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Amos Genish opposes merger of national fibre networks but questions whether TIM should hold 100% of Sparkle

Amos Genish, the Vivendi executive who is now CEO of TIM, has come out against suggestions that it should merge its national fibre network with that of OpEn Fiber. He told a newspaper that there is room in the Italian market for two competing fast broadband fibre networks.

He has also questioned whether the former Telecom Italia should retain its 100% stake in wholesale carrier Sparkle.

Genish was speaking toIl Sole 24 Ore, the same newspaper that just days ago ran an interview in which Alberto Calcagno, CEO of Swisscom’s Italian subsidiary Fastweb, called for TIM and OpEn Fiber to merge their national fibre networks.

But he also said about Sparkle: “There is no need to have 100%,” Il Sole 24 Ore quotes him as saying in the interview, but he made no more comment in the article as reported.

Vivendi, of which Genish was chief convergence officer before being made CEO of TIM, is the biggest single shareholder in the Italian operator – and the Italian government has not hesitated in expressing concern about the French media company’s control of nationally important assets, especially Sparkle.