Regulatory changes may lead to merger with Open Fiber- TIM CEO to FT

Telecom Italia CEO Amos Genish smiles during a debate at the RAI state television headquarters in Rome, Italy November 10, 2017. REUTERS/Remo Casilli

MILAN (Reuters) - Regulatory changes in Italy could pave the way to a merger with broadband company Open Fiber, Telecom Italia (TIM) Chief Executive Amos Genish told the Financial Times on Tuesday.

“It more depends on the government to decide the future more than us. We are a willing potential buyer if there is something on the table, but it is up to the government to decide if Open Fiber is needed in today’s environment,” Mr Genish said.

Open Fiber, jointly owned by state lender CDP and utility Enel, is building a wholesale-only fast internet network across Italy which will rival TIM’s network.

TIM is due to spin off its fixed-line network and put it into a legally separate company, but the recent change in the Italian government had added uncertainty to its plans, with ministers yet to rule on changes to how the sector is regulated.

Reporting by Francesca Landini, editing by Giulia Segreti