ROME, Feb 9 (Reuters) - Italy's antitrust authority opened an investigation into a broadband joint venture between Telecom Italia and Swisscom unit Fastweb for possible violations of competition rules, it said in a statement on Thursday.
The two companies agreed to set up a joint venture in July to speed up the roll-out of an ultrafast broadband network in 29 cities across Italy.
The authority said it had sent inspectors, along with finance police, to both of the companies on Thursday to acquire "elements needed for the investigation".
The joint venture "could reduce the intensity of competition" in the broadband and ultrafast broadband sectors, the statement said.
Reporting by Steve Scherer, editing by Isla Binnie