The European Commission (EC) has this month approved a purchase plan that will see CDP Equity S.p.A. and Macquarie Group Ltd. take control of Italian fiber broadband infrastructure provider Open Fiber.
CDP already owns a stake in Open Fiber; the deal essentially buys out current co-owner Enel while increasing CDP’s stake in Open Fiber.
The 2.12 billion euro deal for Macquarie’s 40% portion of Open Fiber was announced this past August. CDP is to pay €530 million to increase its stake from 50% to 60%.
In reviewing the transaction’s details, the European Commission concluded that CDP’s partial ownership of Telecom Italia S.p.A. didn’t pose an increased threat to competition in that CDP already had a stake in both companies already.
Similarly, it concluded that Macquarie’s holdings in various communications companies inside and outside of Italy should have no effects on competition in the Italian market.
Open Fiber operates an open FTTH network that passes more than 12 million households in more than 180 urban centers and more than 2,300 rural municipalities across Italy.
The company plans to pass more than 19 million households in the future.
In blessing the deal despite CDP’s ownership stakes in Telecom Italia and Open Fiber, the European Commission stated, “the possible anticompetitive concerns are not specific to the proposed transaction.”
Those concerns center around widespread speculation that the changes in ownership would pave the way toward some sort of tie-up between Telecom Italia and Open Fiber.