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MILAN, April 11 (Reuters) - Telecom Italia has given a mandate to Chairman Franco Bernabe, flanked by three of its board members, to negotiate a possible merger with Hutchison Whampoa's unit 3 Italia, Il Messaggero daily said on its website on Thursday.
Telecom Italia board met on Thursday to discuss a potential tie-up with the Hong Kong group, which sources say wants nearly 30 percent of the Italian firm.
Telecom Italia, whose shares jumped on the report, was not immediately reachable for comment. (Reporting By Silvia Aloisi; Editing by Lisa Jucca)