The nascent $2 billion alliance between telco giants Cable & Wireless and Telecom Italia has hit a wall as the UK carrier has been blocked from selling its stake in a French operator to the Italian.
As part of their strategic partnership Cable & Wireless intended to sell its 20 per cent share in Bouygues Telecom to Telecom Italia. The Italian already owns 19.6 per cent. Cable & Wireless said Bouygues Telecom shareholders' exercised their preemption rights.
The UK telco also said Telecom Italia will be unlikely to buy a 20 per cent stake in its West Indies operation or five per cent of its north American business, as expected.
A Telecom Italia spokesperson said the action is not a major set back to the alliance and confirmed the companies will continue to target Europe and north America.
Telecom Italia wants to combine its international networks with those of Cable & Wireless to become the world's second largest carrier of international traffic. Last month it dropped its relationship with AT&T to join the Cable & Wireless fold.
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