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Italian govt approves Swisscom’s acquisition of Vodafone Italia

Swisscom has secured an initial go-ahead from Italy’s government for its planned acquisition of Vodafone Italia, the Swiss telecoms company and a source close to the matter said on Tuesday.

So-called “golden power” legislation allows Rome to block or impose conditions on deals in sectors considered strategic such as banking, energy, telecommunications or healthcare.

Swisscom said in a statement that it had been informed by Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni’s government of its decision not to use golden powers to veto the transaction.

The merger “does not determine a threat of serious prejudice to national interests”, the group said as it detailed Rome’s decision.

Swisscom said in March that it would buy Vodafone Italia for 8 billion euros ($8.7 billion) and merge the business with its Italian subsidiary Fastweb in the latest round of consolidation in Europe’s most competitive telecoms markets.

Asking not to be named, the source said the government would start a new golden power procedure once Meloni’s office had been notified of the merger with Fastweb.

The integration will be subject to further scrutiny, the source added.

The deal is designed to create Italy’s second biggest fixed-line broadband operator behind TIM with a strong presence in the prized business segment, and a leading player in mobile.

Switzerland’s leading telecommunications company said the takeover of Vodafone Italia was going according to schedule, with completion expected in the first quarter of 2025. Reuters

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