Olivetti has now confirmed that it is actively involved in lobbying for a collaboration between its 23% shareholder AT&T Co and Stet SpA, the Italian state-owned telecommunications holding company, Agence France Presse reports from Milan. Strategic development director Elserino Piol is quoted as saying that Olivetti is prepared to take a stake in telecommunications equipment manufacturer Italtel SpA and to grant between 4% and 5% of its own shares to Italtel’s parent, Stet. Piol suggests that Italtel Telematica and Olivetti’s Otelco should be merged to create a single Italian company for the digital PABX market, perhaps having technical links with AT&T. IRI, the state body above Stet, says that OIivetti’s lobbying on behalf of AT&T will not impact the choice of partner for Italtel, AT&T’s chances being no better and no worse than those of Northern Telecom Ltd, Alcatel NV, Siemens AG and Ericsson. British Olivetti will increase its workforce by 200 people, 20%, this year to make a major assault on the business systems market with its new LSX 3000 family of supermicros. British Olivetti made a loss last year on sales of UKP137m, but it is investing heavily for expansion.