The present paper provides an overview of the main companies operating in European telecommunication industry over the decade 2006-2015, with a specific focus on their ownership structure. Following Christiansen and Kim (2014), State-invested telecom companies are classified into State-owned (SOEs) and partially State-owned (PSOEs) enterprises. The aim of the analysis is to investigate the current involvement of European Governments in the telecommunications sector after the deep process of privatisation started in the ‘80s and to understand whether the type of ownership is connected with companies’ economic performance. It turns out that European States still have an important role in the telecommunications industry, mainly through minority but significant participations into previously publicly held incumbents. Moreover, from the analysis of balance sheet data it turns out that State-Invested companies have achieved an economic performance which is comparable, if not superior, to that of private enterprises in terms of profitability. However, some gaps seem to persist as far as labour productivity and investment levels are concerned.
Keywords: State-invested enterprises, state-owned enterprises, telecommunications, privatization
Jel Code: L25, L33, L96