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Italian Networks Resume Merger Talks

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The possibility of a merger between two of Italy's mobile networks has reappeared following recent European rulings on internal mergers between telcos.

Hutchison Whampoa, which owns Three Italia and Vimpelcom, which owns Wind Italy have reportedly resumed talks that had previously failed to secure a merger between their two mobile network subsidiaries.

No details are available, but the Reuters news agency cited several unnamed sources as confirming that the talks are taking place.

The recent clearance of the merger of two networks in Ireland and the expected clearance of a similar deal in Germany are thought to have spurred the Italian merger talks.

Italy currently has four mobile networks, although the market is dominated by Telecom Italia and Vodafone, so a merger of the two smallest networks should face less regulatory concern than in other countries.

Wind has also been able to refinance its debt, which was considered to be one of the main stumbling blocks that stopped the merger talks last year.

On the web: Reuters

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