Italy proposes new cut to wholesale telecom fees

ROME, June 24 Tue Jun 24, 2014 8:00am EDT

ROME, June 24 (Reuters) - Italian regulator AGCOM has proposed a new to wholesale telecom fees, an official said on Tuesday, a move that may erode earnings at Telecom Italia which owns the bulk of Italy's phone network.

The plan is to cut monthly prices Telecom Italia charges its rivals to access each line on its network to 8.66 euros for 2010, 8.91 euros for 2011 and 9.06 euros for 2012, from 9.28 euros, according to AGCOM commissioner Antonio Preto.

Speaking on the sidelines of a conference, Preto said AGCOM was forced it the decision by Italy's top administrative court which asked it to review prices for maintenance services following a legal complaint by three Telecom Italia rivals.

Separately Telecom Italia CEO Marco Patuano said his group would appeal against the proposed new cut, which is subject to a 30 day long consultation period.

A previous decision to cut by around 6 percent access fees for 2013 reduced Telecom Italia's income by 110 million euros ($150 million) and sparked criticism by the European Commission which said the cut discouraged investment in faster networks.

Phone companies, such as Vodafone, Fastweb and Wind, say cuts to access prices would open up the market still dominated by Telecom Italia. ($1 = 0.7357 Euros) (Reporting by Alberto Sisto, editing by Louise Heavens)

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