August 20, 2017 / 4:50 PM / 7 months ago

Telecom Italia and Mediaset agreement 'desirable': govt official

MILAN (Reuters) - Italy’s former telephone monopoly Telecom Italia (TIM) should seek an agreement with Mediaset to combine the telephone company’s distribution network with the broadcaster’s content, an Italian government official told La Stampa newspaper on Sunday.

FILE PHOTO: A Telecom Italia tower is pictured in Rome, Italy, March 22, 2016. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini/File Photo

French media group Vivendi has built up its stake in TIM over time to become its top shareholder with 23.9 percent and became Mediaset’s second-largest stakeholder last year with a 29 percent share.

An agreement between the two Italian companies could bolster their bargaining power with Vivendi, which has drawn fire from the Italian government over its stakes in the businesses.

($1 = 0.8503 euros)

Reporting by Giulia Segreti and Steve Scherer; Editing by David Goodman

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