Eurobites: Regulator Rejects TIM's Fixed-Line Spin-Off Proposal

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Lorenzo oils TIM's revenue wheels; Iliad invests in sovereign service provider; Dutch tread carefully on the Huawei front.

  • Telecom Italia (TIM) 's proposal to spin off its fixed-line access network has been rejected by Italy's communications regulator, Agcom , according to a Bloomberg report. Agcom believes that the proposal, if approved, would allow TIM to benefit from "a significant competitive advantage" across the whole of Italy, apart from the city of Milan. The landline spin-off was championed by Elliott Management, the US activist investment group that wrested control of the operator from Vivendi last year. Agcom's ruling, however, has still to be put to a 45-day public consultation: Only after that will it make its final ruling. (See Telecom Italia Caught in Clash of Clans While Rome Burns and Telecom Italia Molders as Shareholders Feud.)

  • In other TIM news, Lorenzo Forina has been appointed to the newly created role of chief revenue officer. His job will be to ensure the operating margin of TIM's retail clients and the maximization of income, among other duties. Forina has been with TIM since 2005; before that he worked for McKinsey Italy, in the consultancy's retail and telecommunications division.

  • France's Iliad (Euronext: ILD) has paid just under €100 million (US$113 million) for a majority 75% stake in Jaguar Network, which describes itself as a "sovereign service provider," providing cloud services through its data centers that are located on French soil. Kevin Polizzi, Jaguar Network's founder, remains the company's CEO and has retained a 25% stake in the business.

  • The Netherlands has joined the procession of countries expressing reservations about using Chinese vendor Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd on 5G network rollouts, Bloomberg reports, citing local daily Trouw. According to the report, the Dutch government is due to auction 5G mobile spectrum in the fall, and the selection of suitable bids will depend heavily on the government's "China strategy," which is due to be presented before the summer, said a ministry spokesman. Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the US and the UK have all moved to restrict Huawei's participation in network-building in recent months, while other countries, including Japan and Germany, are considering their options. (See Where Huawei Fears to Tread, Eurobites: Now Germany Gets the Huawei Heebie-Jeebies and Orange Rules Out Huawei for 5G in France.)

  • Switzerland is considering launching a version of Netflix for Swiss films, provisionally to be called -- go on, take a wild guess -- "Swissflix." According to Broadband World News, it's the brainchild of the Swiss Federal Office of Culture, which figures that as Swiss citizens have already supported Swiss film production through their taxes, they should get such a service for free.

  • French-language TV channel TV5Monde has chosen Orange (NYSE: FTE)'s Media Delivery Boost infrastructure to improve the mobile content experience for its customers in Africa. Orange says it will support the development of the channel through the introduction of new content points-of-presence (PoPs) in 2019.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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