Telecom Italia has begun its strategic u-turn. The Board of Directors, held yesterday afternoon to review the half-yearly results, has especially given green light to the separation of the fixed activities (local loop) and mobile operator. The objective is to turn the company into a company more focused on the media, which reflects the agreement signed with the Fox group Newscorp. Rupert Murdoch, for the dissemination of films to the application on the Internet of Telecom Italia, Alice Home TV network, currently available in 70 cities of the peninsula. The Council also reserves to take advantage of any opportunity of fixed or mobile activity that would be.
It is not clear that Marco Tronchetti Provera, President of Telecom Italia, found yesterday easily words to convince the directors of this choice, which represents a u-turn on the spot on the strategic plan: does it not trying, since the end of 2004, to integrate telephone networks fixed and mobile, after having purchased more than 20 billion euros the 44 of TIM that he did not yet, on behalf of convergence
But this, the Group has a high debt more of 41 billion euros and is part of the "telco", much less appreciated markets than the media... Where the scenarios outlined by the Councils Banca Leonardo, Mediobanca, Lehman Brothers and Rothschild to this possible split and an opening of the capital of Telecom Italia.
The telecommunications group does build therefore more networks convergence but on a joint offer network Internet-content. A different option from that adopted by several operators: yesterday, Vodafone UK mobile operator took an opposite option passing an agreement with BT to offer broadband customers. Others will certainly endeavour to ensure content but build on triple offers, or even quadruple phone fixed and mobile, television, Internet. This is sought to be in Britain, an operator of the cable as NTL, which bought last spring rival Telewest and Virgin Mobile. Naturally, this does not prevent alliances with companies offering content.
BT, who had to sell its mobile branch, O2, in 2002, to alleviate its debt, strives to since then by all means to substitute new services on the mobile, for example with the ability to call a mobile to the fixed prices when at home. Telecom Italia also attempted year last an offer of this type, but collided with the regulator, which prevented.
After the discussions of the week last with Rupert Murdoch, the group gives therefore a blow of his transfer acceleration. Consob has, it is true, asked for clarification and the title was yesterday suspended pending the findings of the Board of Directors. Thursday, it will be the turn of the regulatory authority for telecommunications to meet to consider the new organization of Telecom Italia.
The Italian press is on the other hand the interest of several fund investment and telecommunications, as the Spanish company Telefonica.
The rumours which have escalated late last week in any case propelled towards the heights the titles of Telecom Italia, but also those of Pirelli e C, holding, via Olimpia, 18 of the capital of Telecom Italia.