The Italian government has approved Swisscom's €8 billion ($8.7bn) acquisition of Vodafone Italy.

In a statement today (May 21), Swisscom said that the Italian Presidency of the Council of Ministers "unconditionally approved the acquisition pursuant to the golden power legislation."

Vodafone Italy HQ
Vodafone's Italian headquarters – Getty Images

Swisscom said it was informed that its acquisition of Vodafone would not threaten competition within the Italian telecoms market.

"Overall, the completion of the Vodafone Italia transaction is on track; it remains subject to further regulatory and other customary approvals," said Swisscom, which expects the deal to close during the first quarter of 2025.

The golden power legislation grants the Italian government permission to review and impose vetoes, special conditions, and prescriptions on certain transactions that could threaten or prejudice essential Italian public interests.

Vodafone confirmed on March 15, that it had agreed to sell its Italian unit to Swisscom, in a deal that will see Swisscom merge Vodafone with its Italian subsidiary Fastweb.

Swisscom said the deal will be debt-financed and paid for in cash. The merger will combine 3.4 million Fastweb customers with Vodafone's 20 million, making it the second-biggest telco in Italy behind struggling Telecom Italia (TIM).

Speaking in March, Margherita Della Valle, Vodafone group chief executive, said: "Going forward, our businesses will be operating in growing telco markets - where we hold strong positions - enabling us to deliver predictable, stronger growth in Europe. This will be coupled with our acceleration in B2B, as we continue to take share in an expanding digital services market."