TI, Telefonica merger back on?

A merger of two of Europe’s biggest telcos could be back on, after discussion between Italy’s Industry Minister Claudio Scajolo and Telecom Italia’s chief executive Franco Bernabe.

Scajolo was seeking assurances that the Italian government would be kept informed of any potential deal with Spanish carrier Telefonica, when the pair met in Rome Thursday.
The Industry Minister requested the meeting after Italian newspaper la Republica reported Italy’s government had already approved a merger, on condition Telecom Italia’s fixed-line business remained under Italian control
Bernabe reportedly agreed to keep the Government, and acknowledged the carrier has already planned to exploit synergies with its Spanish counterpart.
The minister called for TI to safeguard its investment in broadband rollout, and said he would brief Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi about the meeting.
Italy’s government denied la Republica’s story regarding a possible merger in a statement issued on February 3

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