Iliad, backed by French billionaire Xavier Niel, wants to grab a quarter of the Italian mobile market using the same cut-throat prices that helped it to conquer France five years ago.
Price cutting in India from new entrant Reliance Jio forced rivals - which include Vodafone - to drop prices and merge.
Vodafone CEO Vittorio Colao said at Morgan Stanley’s annual TMT conference in Barcelona said it was possible that Iliad would do something similar.
“After India, you can expect everything. We are ready to see everything”, he said.
But Colao, a former McKinsey consultant, said Vodafone had a cunning plan… "it would use the companies strong data analytics had allowed the group to identify its “most vulnerable” Italian customers and to offer them special conditions adapted to their needs.
To put this plan into some perspective it is going to use its long list of customer phone numbers to annoy the hell out of its customers even more. Given that many Vodaphone customers are already hacked off about having to receive automated call centre calls for products they don’t want every two or three days, we would think this cunning plan might force many of its users into the arms of Illiad.
The 56-year-old Italian said he was “very happy” with the performance of the Italian business, as adjusted core profit rose 8.8 percent in the first half of the year, despite continuing price pressure.
Vodafone, the world’s second largest mobile operator, is the number three mobile player in Italy where it competes against former monopoly Telecom Italia and low-cost operator Wind-Tre.