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Eurobites: DT 'Close' to T-Mob Deal With SoftBank

Paul Rainford

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Snowden slams UK government's data-access proposals; big data types need to tread carefully; Telekom Austria and KPN in LTE roaming agreement.

  • Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT) is close to agreeing a US$16 billion deal to sell a majority stake in T-Mobile US Inc. to SoftBank Corp. , the Japanese operator that already ownsSprint Corp. (NYSE: S), according to the Nikkei Asian Review. A basic deal has been struck that would see Deutsche Telekom sell just more than 50% of T-Mobile US shares for about $16 billion, a price that’s in line with the $32 billion valuation referenced in earlier reports. If given the green light by the US regulators, the deal would result in the merger of Sprint and T-Mobile, to create an operator with more than 100 million mobile customers. (See Sprint, T-Mobile Settle on $32B Price and Tough Road Ahead for Sprint/T-Mobile?)

  • Edward Snowden, the whistleblower who lifted the lid on the extent of data surveillance by the US National Security Agency (NSA) and others, has offered his verdict on the UK government's plans to rush through emergency legislation that will allow operators to hang onto customers' personal phone data without fear of prosecution. In a Guardian video interview, Snowden expresses his incredulity at the proposals, asking: "If these surveillance authorities are so intrusive, so invasive, the courts are actually saying they violate fundamental rights, do we really want to authorize them on a new, increased and more intrusive scale without any public debate on it?" (See British Spooks Tap the Global Net and Prism in a Big Data World.)

  • And still on the issue of data privacy or perceived lack thereof, the European Commission 's European Data Protection Supervisor has told players in the big data arena that they need to invest in good privacy and protection measures, "preferably at the design stage of their projects." Peter Hustinx also warned that fines running into the millions of euros will be slapped onto those who fail to do the right thing, privacy-wise.

  • Telekom Austria AG (NYSE: TKA; Vienna: TKA) and KPN Telecom NV (NYSE: KPN)'s iBasis Inc. (Nasdaq: IBAS) have signed an LTE roaming peering agreement which draws on the companies' existing GRX peering arrangement, as well as on each other's PI eXchanges. (See Telekom Austria, KPN's iBasis Peer for LTE Roaming.)

  • A web platform that allows students of surgery to "enter" into a real operating theater through Google Glass; a modular kit for building robots and controlling them from a PC or smartphone; and a mobile app that uses geolocation and Linkedin profile integration so that users can see the professional skills of people attending a particular event (creepy!): These are just three of the startup projects that Telecom Italia SpA (NYSE: TI) has chosen to invest in as part of its "GranTissimi" program. For lots more, see this press release.

  • The acquisition of French mobile operator SFR by Numericable-SFR is to come under scrutiny from France's stock market regulator, reports Reuters. Copies of emails and other documents relating to the deal have been taken away for perusal. (See Eurobites: Numericable Wins SFR M&A Tussle.)

  • The UK's Federation of Small Businesses has lambasted the broadband offered to its members as not "fit for purpose." In a discussion paper, the lobby group argues that the lack of access to top-notch connectivity "reduces productivity, stifles innovation and restricts the ability of British firms to grow and compete in global markets."

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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    User Rank: Light Sabre
    7/14/2014 | 11:58:10 AM
    Hated by governments worldwide
    @Paul: I admire the fact how Snowden has evolved from an NSA whistle blower to a worldwide champion of online privacy. Now more and more governments, including UK, have a reason to hate Snowden.
    User Rank: Light Sabre
    7/14/2014 | 11:58:09 AM
    Hated by governments worldwide
    @Paul: I admire the fact how Snowden has evolved from an NSA whistle blower to a worldwide champion of online privacy. Now more and more governments, including UK, have a reason to hate Snowden.
    User Rank: Blogger
    7/14/2014 | 11:38:37 AM
    Seems like they are always supposedly very close to making this deal. It has been about a month and a half since they agreed on the valuation, right? How has it taken this long to determine that 50% of $32 billion is indeed $16 billion?
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