Three of Italy's four mobile-phone providers are already owned by foreigners, and AT&T is looking to scoop up a controlling stake in the fourth, Telecom Italia. AT&T and its Mexican affiliate America Movil have proposed a joint bid for a 66 percent stake in the holding company, Olimipia, which controls 18 percent of Telecom Italia. Olimpia's 18 percent stake in the Italian telecom has proven quite the asset, it allows Olimpia to control the carrier's board of directors. Last month the owners of Olimpia indicated their desire to sell the money-losing stake, but pressure from the Italian government to keep the assets under Italian ownership have proven difficult for Olimpia. AT&T and America Movil are facing that pressure now.
For more on AT&T's bid for Telecom Italia:
- read this WSJ article (sub. req.)