Some of Italys most powerful fund managers have publicly expressed their concerns about a potential merger of Telecom Italia with its parent company Olivetti, according to Reuters.
After expressing their dissatisfaction at a May 24 shareholder meeting, however, the fund managers decided to abstain from a "no" ballot.
Some investors in Telecom Italia are asserting that the merger with debt-heavy Olivetti is unfair to them. The deal is slated for July.
Fund analysts say the very fact that local investors are being critical in public and making their voices heard is a significant step toward shareholder activism.
Attillo Ferrari, managing director of Arca, a leading Italian mutual fund, expressed his belief that these actions might be indicative of a shift in relationship between investors and companies.
"Saturdays events allow us to hope that a new and important phase has begun for Italian capitalism," Italys fund management association Assogestioni said in a statement shortly after the vote.
Italy has been long considered a difficult place for foreign investors , as it has extremely complex ownership structures.