August 11, 2017 / 12:17 PM / 9 days ago

Vivendi's role in TIM doesn't breach Italy rules-legal document

MILAN, Aug 11 (Reuters) - French media group Vivendi's growing influence over Telecom Italia does not breach Italian rules aimed at protecting strategic companies, according to a legal opinion sent by Telecom Italia (TIM) to the Rome government.

Italy's government is looking into whether Vivendi, TIM's top investor with a 24 percent stake, failed to meet an obligation to notify it of its effective control of a company considered a strategic national asset.

Rome's investigation aims at establishing whether Vivendi - which on July 27 acknowledged "direction and coordination activity" at TIM - actually controls the phone incumbent and if the conditions exist for the government to exercise special powers over it.

But in an opinion drawn up at TIM's behest, two prominent Italian legal experts said Vivendi's role at TIM only related to management of the company and did not imply any change of ownership or control over TIM and its assets.

"The actions taken... do not constitute events requiring any need of notification and are not susceptible to triggering the use of any veto power," the document, dated August 6 and seen by Reuters on Friday, said.

Reporting by Giselda Vagnoni and Stephen Jewkes, editing by Silvia Aloisi

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