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June 17, 1997updated 05 Sep 2016 12:00pm

BELL ATLANTIC MAY WALK AWAY FROM ITALIAN INFOSTRADA

By CBR Staff Writer

Bell Atlantic Corp may walk away from the Italian Infostrada consortium established with Ing C Olivetti SpA in 1995 (CI No 2,640), after France Telecom acquired a 49% holding, slashing Bell Atlantic Corp’s stake to 33%. Dr Ugo Panerai, an Olivetti official, said The withdrawal of Bell Atlantic from Infostrada is one of the possibilities being discussed in current negotiations. Philadelphia-based Bell Atlantic refused to comment. Infostrada provides integrated telecommunications services, including virtual private networks, national and international phone services, international phone cards – prepaid or billed-on- credit cards. Its goal is to break the dominance of Telecom Italia, and it aims to capitalize on a contract with Italy’s state railway, enabling it to use the cable network installed along Italy’s main rail routes. Even if Bell Atlantic withdraws from the alliance it will continue to be an active player, holding a 17.4% stake in Italy’s number two cellular company, Omnitel Pronto Italia SpA.

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