Vodafone seeking damages of €1bn from Telecom Italia


British telecoms group claims Italian rival has abused its market position, while Telecom Italia says it will display ‘absolute correctness’ of its methods 

Vodafone Group is suing Telecom Italia and seeking damages of more than €1 billion (£864 million) after claiming it has abused its dominant position in the market.

In a statement, Vodafone confirmed it has commenced litigation against Telecom Italia and that the civil action states it “committed a series of abuses between 2008 and 2013 with the intention of impeding growth in competition in the Italian fixed line market”.

Telecom Italia rejected the claim, and responded by saying it would demonstrate “absolute correctness” of its actions.

According to the Agcom regulator, Vodafone and Telecom Italia are the two biggest wireless companies in the country, controlling around two thirds of the mobile phone market. Vodafone doesn’t have a fixed line network in Italy.

Vodafone said Telecom Italia had caused a loss of customers, restricted its Italian operations’ ability to grow its fixed line business, and forced it to pay artificially high costs to compete in the market.

Telecom Italia was fined around €104 million (£899,000) by the country’s competition regulator in May for abusing its dominant position in network infrastructure. It is currently appealing that decision.