Telecom Italia bowing out of mobile business

Telecom Italia is doing an about-face when it comes to fixed-mobile convergence--the buzzword of the European telecom industry. The company is close to announcing plans to put its mobile business, Telecom Italia Mobile, up for sale and instead focus on content delivery via the Internet. The company reportedly has been in discussions with Rupert Murdoch, which the Financial Times notes is ironic given the fact that TI sold its stake in Murdoch's Sky Italia a while back to focus on mobile. Who are the likely buyers of TIM, one of the most advanced mobile operators in the world? Rumors are flying about private equity groups, and it doesn't look like some of Europe's largest operators are in any healthy financial condition to do a deal this big. TIM is estimated to be worth around $51 billion.

To read more about Telecom Italia's move out of mobile:
- check out this article from The Wall Street Journal (sub. req.)
- take a look at this report from The Financial Times