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Telecom Italia (TI) plans to sell off Telecom Italia Mobile, Italy's No. 1 mobile-phone provider, according to a weekend media report.

The company's chairman, Marco Tronchetti Provera, is expected to announce the sale Monday, according to a report on

The Wall Street Journal's

Web site Sunday.

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The most likely buyer would be a private equity firm, the report said, citing one adviser to Telecom Italia.

The sale would be a strategic about-face for Telecom Italia, which less than two years ago conducted a $27.88 billion merger with Telecom Italia Mobile, the report noted.

Last week, Tronchetti Provera met with News Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch about a content deal between their companies.

Telecom Italia shares gained 22 cents Friday to $28.64.