Vodafone and Telekom Italia have offered to permit competitors to access sites in some cities for up to nine years, a proposal aimed toward allaying EU antitrust concerns over the development of Italy’s largest mobile tower firm, based on an EU document.
The firms declared the agreement in July last year, which can see Vodafone move its Italian mobile posts to INWIT, TIM’s 60%-controlled unit.
They may each have a 37.5% stake and equal governance rights in the enlarged INWIT.
For the telecoms sector, connecting towers or sharing networks to lower debt and share costs are seen as an option to counter EU antitrust regulators’ robust line on telecoms mergers that cut back the number of players in a market from four to three.
Under Vodafone and TIM’s offer, INWIT will make available around 630 sites in cities with over 35,000 individuals, permitting competitors to provide current and future mobile and fixed telephone services, the document read.
Access will be between 6-9 years and renewable as much as six years. The number of sites made available will gradually cut to just beneath 400 during the fifth year of the businesses’ bid, which shall be valid for eight years.
Access will be allowed on reasonable and non-discriminatory terms, while a fast track system will permit firms to resolve conflicts.
The Commission is now looking for suggestions from the companies’ competitors and from customers before deciding whether to accept the supply, demand further measures, or open a full-scale investigation.