Stories by Philip Willan

Merger Creates First Italian Internet Giant

A planned merger between Italy's largest Internet service provider and the publisher of the Yellow Pages telephone directories will create an Internet colossus worth around 100 trillion lire (US$51 billion) and should give a major boost to the development of Internet use in the Mediterranean country, analysts and industry observers said today.

Italy to Launch Legally Binding Digital Signature

Italy, a country notorious for its ponderous and inefficient bureaucracy, is set to become the first European country to introduce a legally binding digital signature next month, when the government is expected to authorize a number of organizations to act as digital keyholders.

Italian Companies Create $100M Net Fund

A group of Italian companies led by former prime minister and media magnate Silvio Berlusconi's Fininvest SpA is to set up an Internet venture capital fund with more than US$100 million to invest, mainly in information technology projects in the U.S., Fininvest announced today.

WorldBeat: When Software Rescues a Fresco

When the frescoed ceiling of Assisi's Basilica of St. Francis crashed to the floor two years ago few people would have imagined that the resulting fragments of painted plaster would present information technology with one of its most intriguing challenges.

Telecom Italia To Roll Out Easy Internet Services

Telecom Italia SpA today announced the launch of a new Internet service that will include the supply of an entry-level PC already configured to operate through the company's access provider.

Omnitel Profits Nearly Triple in First Half

Omnitel Pronto Italia SpA, Europe's second largest mobile phone operator, saw net profits for the first half of its fiscal year rise by 182 percent to 661 billion lire (US$347 million) in 1999, the company announced today.
Revenues were up 83 percent to 3.2 trillion lire, said Omnitel, which offers GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) service.

Olivetti bid for Telecom Italia successful

Olivetti SpA's record-breaking 117 trillion [T] lire ($97.2 billion) hostile takeover bid for Telecom Italia SpA has achieved success, with 51.02 per cent of Telecom Italia shareholders accepting the offer, Olivetti confirmed yesterday.

Olivetti's new bid for Telecom Italia cleared

Italy's stock exchange regulatory authority, Consob, gave the green light to Olivetti's 102 trillion lire ($US58 billion) hostile bid for Telecom Italia on Saturday, a move welcomed yesterday by the Milan stock market, which saw the shares of both companies move ahead strongly in early trading yesterday.