Home » Expansion of the telecom giant – Swisscom in Italy – hopefully no déjà vu – News

Expansion of the telecom giant – Swisscom in Italy – hopefully no déjà vu – News

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Expansion of the telecom giant – Swisscom in Italy – hopefully no déjà vu – News

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It’s a small bombshell that Swisscom dropped. It wants to take over the Italian subsidiary of the British telecom provider Vodafone for 8 billion euros. The plan: Merge Vodafone Italy with its local subsidiary Fastweb. The joint company would have sales of around 7 billion euros and 8,000 employees. It would be number two in Italy – behind the market leader TIM (Telecom Italia Mobile). So it’s a big box. For comparison: Swisscom generates sales of around 11 billion francs per year.

Nothing has been signed yet, but negotiations are said to be well advanced. One can only wish Swisscom: Hopefully it doesn’t experience déjà vu.

Takeover debacles are not uncommon at Swisscom

Swisscom has been on the market in Italy for 17 years – and has had painful experiences. Especially at the beginning, after entering the market. In 2007, Swisscom bought the majority of Italy’s Fastweb for almost 7 billion francs. A little later, Fastweb made headlines with alleged mafia-like structures. The company was involved in money laundering and tax evasion before the takeover. In the end, Swisscom had to write off 1.3 billion euros. After all: Fastweb is making a profit today.

Takeover debacles – Swisscom already had one like this before the Italian adventure. The acquisition of the German Debitel was also followed by high write-offs. When she also wanted to take over the Irish Eircom, the federal government, as the majority owner, banned her from taking over.

Is the federal government the right majority owner?

The federal government is still the majority owner today. And the takeover history as well as the renewed desire to buy and expand brings another question back to the forefront: Is the federal government the right owner? With the Vodafone takeover, the state-affiliated Swiss telecom entity would be number two on the Italian market and would be present with fixed and mobile network offerings.

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This sheer size comes with various risks. Which in the end the federal government supports. This has launched the discussion about the federal government’s ownership strategy and the possible full privatization of Swisscom.

Benita Vogel

Business editor

Open the people box. Close the people box

Benita Vogel has been working for SRF TV since 2022. The business journalist previously wrote for the “Tages-Anzeiger”, the “Sonntagszeitung” and the “Handelszeitung”, among others.

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