Italy set to fine Vivendi over Telecom Italia control, fine less than 300 million euros: source

ROME (Reuters) – Italy is set to fine Vivendi for failing to notify the government of its effective control of Telecom Italia (TIM) with a penalty of less than 300 million euros ($359 million), a source close to the matter said on Friday.

Government officials are due to meet on Monday to discuss whether to sanction the French media group on the grounds that it had failed to meet its legal obligations and inform the prime minister’s office that it had gained de facto control over TIM.

The source said the government will contest Vivendi’s failure to notify, “but the fine will be below 300 million euros. One cannot make the companies bleed”.

The person did not give a specific figure.

Vivendi and TIM declined to comment.

Vivendi, which is TIM’s biggest shareholder with a 24 percent stake, has repeatedly denied controlling Italy’s biggest phone group.

(Reporting by Alberto Sisto, writing by Agnieszka Flak; editing by Stefano Bernabei and Crispian Balmer)