Telecom Italia faces fixed-line competition probe

Italy’s competition commission has begun investigating a complaint against Telecom Italia, covering unfair practices in fixed-line contract bidding.
The comission is responding to allegations by Fastweb that Telecom Italia has abused its incumbent status during two tender processes to manage fixed phone lines for an Italian government agency and the country’s main energy firm, national daily Il Sore 24 reports.
The contracts for government agency Consip and energy giant Enel are worth a combined €1.54 billion over five years, and bidding is due to close at the end of this month.
Fastweb believes the tenders are unfair, because Telecom Italia owns the infrastructure to be managed, but is also bidding for the contracts via its wholesale division.
It says the incumbent refused to respond to requests for technical and economic information considered essential to submitting a competitive bid.
BT Italia, British Telecom’s Italian division, is considering adding its name to the complaint, the newspaper states.
The competition authority could take a year to decide whether to uphold the complaint.