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Vivendi Open to State Control for Telecom Italia Network

A television communications tower inside the headquarters of Telecom Italia SpA in Rozzano, Italy.

A television communications tower inside the headquarters of Telecom Italia SpA in Rozzano, Italy.

Photographer: Francesca Volpi/Bloomberg

Vivendi SE, Telecom Italia SpA’s largest investor, could back ceding control of the former phone monopoly’s network to the Italian state, in a move that could counter KKR & Co.’s preliminary 10.8 billion euro ($12.2 billion) bid for the company.

“The hypothesis of state control of the network, if it were preparatory to a strategic project led by the public sector, will definitely be evaluated with openness,” a Vivendi spokesperson said in a statement. “Vivendi is interested in all solutions that promote the efficiency and infrastructural modernity of the network while preserving the value of its investment.”