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09 Mar 2020 | 07:46

EU clears Vodafone, Telecom Italia masts merger

(Sharecast News) - The European Commission said it has cleared the €10bn merger Vodafone and Telecom Italia's (TIM) towers units.

The companies last July revealed plans to create a mobile towers group through the transfer of Vodafone's Italian mobile masts to INWIT, TIM's 60%-owned subsidiary, with each firm holding a 37.5% stake and equal governance rights in the enlarged entity.

The deal includes a network sharing agreement and a partnership to roll out 5G infrastructure jointly across Italy.

Vodafone and TIM have offered commitments to support access to INWIT's passive infrastructure, such as masts and towers, by all market participants.

Under the commitments, INWIT will make space available to third parties on 4,000 of its towers in more urbanised areas while committing to preserving existing tenancies.

The active sharing partnership will exclude municipalities with populations of more than 100,000 people, as well as their more densely populated suburbs, Vodafone said.

European Commission competition chief Margrethe Vestager said the deal, would allow the fast roll-out of 5G technology in Italy "without compromising retail and wholesale competition".

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