PARIS, Nov 20 (Reuters) - French telecoms firm Iliad is unlikely to trigger an Italian broadband price war when it enters the market next year, Telecom Italia’s boss said on Friday.
Paris-based Iliad, founded and controlled by French tycoon Xavier Niel, launched its mobile business in Italy in 2018 and has gained 6.8 million customers since then through low-cost offers.
This commercial success led Iliad to bring forward its planned launch in broadband, which is now expected in 2021.
“I don’t expect a price war (in the fixed-line business),” Telecom Italia’s (TIM) chief executive Luigi Gubitosi told the Morgan Stanley European Technology, Media and Telecom conference in a virtual meeting.
“I have confidence that Iliad will be rational .... They bought a company in Poland, they got leverage for that. I’m sure they made a good deal but that means they’re stretching their resources further,” he said.
Iliad said in September it would buy Polish mobile group Play for 3.5 billion euros ($4.2 billion), including debt.
“They’re burning 700 million euros in Italy this year,” Gubitosi said. “How much money they want to burn more? They will want to finally have some cash out.”
Iliad had no immediate comment.
$1 = 0.8424 euros Reporting by Mathieu Rosemain; Editing by Mark Potter