Keywords: Local Public Services; Industrialization; Corporatization; Water; Local Governance.
Public services in Italy have undergone a deep transformation over the past two decades. A major watershed was first reached with privatization and then by listing in the stock market of some municipal companies that had been providing in-house services for almost a century. These companies then underwent major restructuring, through mergers and acquisitions, investments in relatively new activities, and in some cases internationalization. The article provides a preliminary assessment of Italy's turning towards the French model of industrialization, based on the involvement of big multinationals in public services, tracing commonalities and differences as a result of isomorphic dynamics. Empirical focus is on companies and their relationships with the political sphere, through the analysis of key aspects of governance and strategic decision-making of ACEA, HERA and IREN in Italy and SUEZ ENVIRONNEMENT and VEOLIA in France.