Italian police ‘raid TIM HQ’, says news agency, as regulator extends Open Fiber enquiry

Italy’s markets regulator is extends its enquiry into whether TIM has harmed rival carrier Open Fiber’s entry into wholesale markets.

The Reuters news agency said a source had told it that police have raided the headquarters of TIM – formerly Telecom Italia – as part of the enquiry.

The Autorità Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato (AGCM, the competition and markets authority) says it wants to see if TIM’s activities in providing wholesale broadband access have been carried out in a way “likely to hinder infrastructure competition” and so that it limits the likelihood that customers will buy Open Fiber’s wholesale services.

AGCM has already been running an examination of TIM since June 2017 for allegedly misusing its dominant position. But this investigation has been widened, says the authority, to examine whether there is further anti-competitive behaviour.

It is worried that TIM has access to privileged information because of its dominant position in network management. AGCM said it will assess whether TIM’s behaviour is part of a wider strategy aimed at obstructing Open Fiber.

This “would have the purpose of hindering the execution of the Open Fiber investment plan and also limiting the competitive development of retail offers for ultra-broadband services”, said a local report into the issue.

TIM told Reuters in a statement that “it had not been involved in any anticompetitive behaviour and would continue to work with the watchdog to prove its case”.

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