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Swisscom’s €8 Billion Deal Opposed by Largest Swiss Party

(Bloomberg) — Switzerland’s largest political party voiced opposition to Swisscom AG’s plans to buy Vodafone Group Plc’s Italian business for €8 billion ($8.7 billion).

“The Swiss Confederation is the majority shareholder of Swisscom and is therefore ultimately liable for the company,” the right-wing Swiss Peoples’ Party, or SVP, said in a statement on Wednesday. “The SVP Switzerland rejects foreign adventures when the state de facto guarantees for losses.”

Opposition from the SVP won’t necessarily be an obstacle to the deal, as members of the ruling Federal Council tend to find consensus on major decisions independent of party lines. The Swiss infrastructure ministry, which oversees the state’s stake in Swisscom, said in an emailed response to questions that the government “has dealt with the matter,” declining to comment further as negotiations are ongoing. 

Read more: Swisscom Nears €8 Billion Deal for Vodafone’s Italian Unit

Switzerland’s government holds a 51% stake in Swisscom. The company was part of a state-owned Swiss postal, telephone and telegraph operator before being privatized in the late 1990s.

SVP got 27.9% of votes in national elections last year, maintaining its status as the biggest party.

(Updates with background on Swiss Federal Council in third paragraph.)

©2024 Bloomberg L.P.

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