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Euronews: Google Strikes Back at BT

Paul Rainford
2/14/2013
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Google, BT Group plc, Vodafone Group plc and Ericsson AB slug it out in today's bout of EMEA news.

  • Google has filed suits in the U.S. and the U.K. against BT, alleging that the British incumbent has infringed patents relating to the transfer of files within a network. The move is being viewed as an act of retaliation for the lawsuit BT issued against the search giant in December 2011, reports CNET. (See It's BT's Turn to Sue Google.)
  • Vodafone is considering a takeover of Kabel Deutschland, Germany's largest cable operator, according to reports in the Daily Telegraph and elsewhere. Shares in Kabel Deutschland soared almost 10 percent on the news, which if true would seem to confirm that Vodafone is seeking fresh sources of revenue as the mobile market gets increasingly tough, especially in Europe. (See Euronews: Europe Puts Brakes on Vodafone.)
  • Philippe Camus, the current chairman of Alcatel-Lucent, is to seek a contract extension in May to attempt to turn around the fortunes of the vendor with the assistance of a new CEO, as yet unnamed, who will replace departing Ben Verwaayen. Will he, like that other more famous Camus, prove a safe pair of hands? (See Alcatel-Lucent: Don't Blame Ben and CEO Verwaayen to Step Down at Alcatel-Lucent.)
  • Ericsson has landed a five-year managed services contract to run VimpelCom Ltd.'s fixed and mobile networks in Russia's Siberia and Urals regions. The deal, which will see 400 VimpelCom staff transfer to Ericsson and which is the vendor's first managed services deal in Russia, covers more than 10,000 kilometers of optical transport connections and more than 10,000 mobile base stations.
  • The president of Telefónica SA's Spanish unit has been telling anyone who will listen that the operator enjoyed a surprisingly good fourth quarter, reports Reuters. "The last quarter was one of the best in our history in terms of commercial activity and also in terms of better margins," said Luis Miguel Gilperez. Official fourth-quarter results are due later this month.
  • Fourth-quarter sales at Nordic optical gear vendor Transmode Systems AB edged up 1.9 percent year-on-year to 251.2 million Swedish kroner (US$39.5 million), while net profits were up a million kroner at SEK35.2 million ($5.5 million).
  • Still in the Nordics, and still in the optical gear sector, Net Insight AB reports a "weak quarter ending a challenging year," with sales down 14.9 percent year-on-year at SEK68.3 million ($10.7 million), translating into operating earnings of just SEK0.8 million ($0.12 million). Project delays in Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa were fingered as part of the problem for the vendor, which specializes in transport platforms designed for video and other media traffic.
  • Spotify founder Martin Lorentzon is one of six new names proposed for TeliaSonera AB's board, reports Reuters. The operator is trying to get its reputation back on track following a whiff of scandal over a licensing deal in Uzbekistan. (See Euronews: TeliaSonera CEO Quits.) — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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