Telecom Italia halts merger

City A.M. Reporter
TELECOM Italia yesterday ended talks with Hutchison Whampoa on merging their Italian mobile businesses, preferring to focus on a plan to spin off its fixed-line network.

Italy’s biggest telecoms player said that conditions were not in place to start official talks with the Hong Kong-based conglomerate on a tie up with its 3 Italia unit. “At present there are not the elements necessary to start negotiations,” it said in a statement.

The breakdown of talks with Hutchison could refocus investor concerns on Telecom Italia’s debts of €28.8bn (£24.7bn) and the weak conditions in its domestic market.