MILAN/ROME May 10 Italy's Antitrust Authority
on Friday fined Telecom Italia 103.8 million euros
($135.9 million) for abusing its dominant market position as
owner and manager of the country's fixed-line telephone network.
The authority said in a statement that Italy's largest phone
group by market share had obstructed "the expansion of market
competitors into voice telephone services and access to internet
Telecom Italia rejected the claim, saying it had always
assured rivals full and equal access to its fixed-line network
in compliance with the current regulations.
The fine resulted from an investigation started in 2010 that
found the former state-owned telecoms monopoly limited wholesale
and retail access to its fixed-line network, the authority said.
The investigation was prompted by complaints from Italy's
third-largest mobile phone operator Wind, which is controlled by
Russia's Vimpelcom, and broadband company Fastweb, a
unit of Swisscom.
Telecom Italia said it would appeal against the fine, which
represents almost 1 percent of its 2012 core earnings, before
the Lazio region administrative court.
Shares in Telecom Italia fell 1 percent to 0.646 euros on
Friday. The blue chip Milan index rose 1.1 percent.
The Antitrust Authority's ruling comes as Telecom Italia
prepares to make a decision in two weeks time about putting its
fixed-line assets into a separate company, a move that would
radically change the Italian telecoms market.