Telecom Italia: appeal against Argentine Competition Authority

01/14/2010 - 07:45 AM

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Telecom Italia wishes to announce that the company lodged an appeal against the measure (Resolution no. 1/2010, issued by the Comisión Nacional de Defensa de la Competencia) in which the Argentine competition authority claims to set deadlines and conditions for divestment of the Telecom Italia Group’s equity interests and rights in Telecom Argentina S.A. parent company Sofora S.A.

We are committed to protecting the interests of the Group and all its shareholders in every place with every means, and the new appeal that we presented proves this once again”, said Franco Bernabè, CEO of the Telecom Italia Group. “In Argentina is taking place a clear violation of rights and damage to the legacy of an Italian Group which has operated successfully in the country for 15 years”.  

The measure against which Telecom Italia is appealing was promulgated subsequent to Resolution no. 483/2009, issued by the Argentine Secreteria de Comercio Interior (against which the company also appealed). This Resolution made approval of Telco S.p.A.’s acquisition of Olimpia S.p.A. (referred to as the Telco transaction) dependent upon the full divestment of Telecom Italia’s directly- and indirectly-held stake in Sofora.

Telecom Italia is keen to point out that despite claiming to be based on breaches of law ascribed to the parties involved in the Telco transaction (Pirelli & C. S.p.A. and Sintonia S.A. as the sellers of Olimpia S.p.A.; Assicurazioni Generali S.p.A., Intesa Sanpaolo S.p.A., Mediobanca S.p.A., Telefónica S.A. and Sintonia S.A. as purchasers of Olimpia via Telco), both of these measures in actual fact principally impact the Telecom Italia Group, which is the current legitimate owner of the equity interests and rights whose divestment is being sought. Paradoxically, the company is:

  • unconnected with the breaches allegedly committed by the parties involved in the Telco transaction;
  • unconnected with and did not take part in the proceedings that led to the rulings against which it is appealing.

It is Telecom Italia’s conviction that each and every ruling reached thus far by the Argentine authorities concerning the divestment of its assets is illegitimate and unjust. The company has consequently filed a petition for the Resolution and all associated administrative measures to be suspended and declared null and void.

Milan, 14 January 2010