PARIS– Arnaud de Puyfontaine, the CEO of Vivendi, has been appointed executive chairman of Telecom Italia at the company’s board meeting on Thursday.
Vivendi, which is now Telecom Italia’s largest shareholder with a 24-percent stake, “intends to pursue a long term-policy focused on development in content convergence,” stated the French conglom which is owned by Brittany-born billionaire Vincent Bolloré (pictured above with De Puyfontaine).
The appointment comes two days after the European Commission allowed Vivendi to gain de facto control over Telecom Italia. Vivendi pledged to sell Telecom Italia’s stake in Persidera, the broadcasting company, in order to win the approval of the European Commission’s antitrust board.
With stakes in Persidera on top of Mediaset (two major Italian broadcasters), “Vivendi would have had an incentive to raise prices charged to TV channels in the market for wholesale access to digital terrestrial television networks,” stated the E.U. antitrust board in its ruling.
De Puyfontaine will continue to serve as CEO, Vivendi, the parent company of Canal Plus Group, Universal Music Group and Dailymotion, among other companies.