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Italy’s telecoms authority gets EU clearance to raise copper grid prices

Italy’s telecoms authority AGCOM has received a green light from the European Commission to raise wholesale prices for access to Telecom Italia (TIM)’s landline grid, a person close to the matter said.

AGCOM was not immediately available to comment.

While the higher prices aim to incentivise TIM to ditch its old copper infrastructure in favour of optic fibre, in the short term they will boost the value of the phone group’s grid, currently the subject of rival bids.

Competing suitors KKR and the consortium comprising Italian state lender CDP and Macquarie have offered 21 billion euros ($23.16 billion) and 19.3 billion euros respectively, sources have said.

The bids fall short of the 31 billion euros TIM’s top investor Vivendi is seeking for the sale, and the Italian phone group is expected to seek a new round of higher bids for the prized asset. Reuters

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