June 29, 2020 / 9:11 PM / 4 days ago

Italy's Open Fiber seeks 1.5 bln euros in damages from TIM over alleged market abuse -sources

MILAN, June 29 (Reuters) - Italian broadband operator Open Fiber has asked Telecom Italia (TIM) for 1.5 billion euros ($1.7 billion) in damages in a case relating to alleged abuse of a dominant market position, two sources said on Monday.

In March Italy’s competition watchdog fined TIM 116 million euros for abusing its position in the broadband market in an attempt to obstruct the entrance of rivals.

“The damages claim was brought after that decision,” one of the sources said.

A source close to TIM said the claim was ridiculous, adding TIM was preparing its own damages suit to be filed against Open Fiber for “unfair competition,” seeking “an equal or an even higher damages compensation” to the rival.

Open Fiber is a wholesale-only broadband operator jointly owned by utility Enel and state lender Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP).

CDP is also TIM’s second-largest shareholder, behind France’s Vivendi, with a 10% stake. ($1 = 0.8900 euro) (Reporting by Stephen Jewkes and Elvira Pollina in Milan, additional reporting by Gianluca Semeraro Editing by Matthew Lewis)

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