Telecom Italia's board has put its merger discussions with Hong Kong-based conglomerate Hutchison Whampoa on hold. The service provider, reports Reuters, said the board did not talk about a deal with Hutchison and that it will discuss the matter at "a future meeting."
If Hutchison does acquire a large stake in Telecom Italia, it said it would collapse its 3 Italia unit into the larger company.
At the end of May, the telco began the process of spinning off its wireline last mile network, a move that could enable it to invest in new network services and expand broadband rollouts.
Earlier, Telecom Italia said it would give itself 30 days to see if it could come to an agreement on governance issues and price.
In addition to talks about selling a minority stake to Hutchison, the board is continuing discussion about selling a minority stake in the company to Cassa Depositi e Prestiti.
Telecom Italia has laid out an aggressive FTTx plan, one that includes both a FTTP and hybrid copper/fiber FTTC-based architecture with VDSL2. The service provider said it would deploy FTTC to 6.1 million homes in 100 cities by the end of 2014.
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