Telecom Italia is Italy's largest phone company, holding almost 70% of the market, and is the leading mobile operator in Brazil as well as Italy.
Illegal Wire-Tapping Scandal
Telecom Italia, one of the major electronic communications providers in Italy is in the middle of a huge scandal regarding the illegal wiretapping and surveillance of the telephone networks.
Italy's justice minister has started an investigation into whether government officials were involved in the alleged wire-tapping scandal at Telecom Italia.
- The news comes a day after police said they had arrested 20 people as part of an investigation into the case. Among those arrested by police include a former chief of security at Telecom Italia, Giuliano Tavaroli, as well as the head of a private investigation agency in Florence. Prosecutors say that evidence of illegal wiretapping stretches back to 1997, with magistrates, celebrities and football referees also being targeted.
- They claim to have discovered "tens of thousands" of names on seized computers and documents, but have released no more details. Italy's leading newspaper, the Corriere della Sera, has described the wire tapping scandal as "the most powerful private spy organisation ever discovered in Italy". 
- An adviser to Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi has resigned over a political row centred on Italy's main phone company Telecom Italia. Angelo Rovati's departure comes after Telecom Italia said on Friday that it was to split its fixed-line and TIM mobile units into two separate firms. Mr Prodi, who opposes the move, said last week that he had no prior knowledge of the firm's decision. Yet a leaked note by Mr Rovati appeared to show Mr Prodi did know of the plan.
- Mr Rovati's departure from the government comes after Telecom Italia's controlling shareholder, Marco Tronchetti, stepped down as chairman of the firm on Friday after clashing with Mr Prodi over its future. Mr Tronchetti backs the split plan.