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Eurobites: Ex-Nokia Staff Fear Microsoft Axe

Paul Rainford

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Portugal Telecom/Oi merger back on track; Anritsu gets BT gig; Carphone Warehouse plans MVNO.

  • Is Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) about to wield the jobs axe in Finland? That's what's being reported by Reuters, citing Finnish daily Helsingin Sanomat. The newspaper said that up to 1,000 mobile-related jobs could go in Finland, 500 of them from the former Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) R&D plant in Oulu, in the north of the country. Last week Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella told Bloomberg that he was preparing to make massive changes at the company, not least in the bits that overlap with Nokia's sphere of interest, and insiders warned the news agency that the job cuts could be the biggest in five years, topping the 5,800 redundancies in 2009. (See Nadella Promotion Ends Microsoft CEO Search.)

  • The proposed merger between Portugal Telecom SGPS SA (NYSE: PT) and Brazil's Telemar Norte Leste S.A. (Oi) is back on after Portugal Telecom agreed to reduce its stake in the enlarged company from as much as 39.6% to 25.6%, reports Bloomberg.

  • Anritsu Corp. , the test and measurement vendor, has landed a contract with BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA)'s Openreach access unit. Under the terms of the deal, Anritsu will supply Openreach with more than 1,000 units of its MT9090A Network Master, which measures the quality of fiber and connections on an installation. The value of the deal was not disclosed. (See Anritsu Lands Optical Test Deal from BT.)

  • Verizon Enterprise Solutions is expanding its sales channels in Europe, offering systems integrators, value-added resellers, agents, and solution providers the opportunity to link up with Verizon to jointly market the US giant's cloud, mobile, and networking solutions to mid-sized companies. (See Verizon Expands Sales Channels in Europe.)

  • Carphone Warehouse Group plc (London: CPW), the UK-based independent mobile phone retailer, is considering launching its own-branded MVNO on 3 's network, according to a report in the Financial Times (subscription required). Carphone Warehouse is in the process of a US$6.3 billion merger with Dixons, one of the UK's largest consumer electricals retailers. (See Eurobites: IoT Drives UK Merger.)

  • Second-quarter sales at Sweden's Tele2 AB (Nasdaq: TLTO) fell 1.2% year-on-year to 6.34 billion Swedish kroner ($928 million), dented by falling fixed-line voice revenues and reduced termination rates. However, mobile service revenue grew by 4% to SEK777 million ($113 million). Earlier this month Tele2 agreed the sale of its Norwegian business to rival TeliaSonera AB (Nasdaq: TLSN) for SEK5.1 billion ($746 million), after failing to secure the spectrum it felt it needed to operate viably in Norway. (See Tele2 Reports Q2.)

  • The UK government's emergency legislation that will allow ISPs and operators to retain people's call, email, and other data without fear of prosecution, has cleared the first stage of its enactment, reports The Guardian. Labour Party MP Tom Watson was not impressed by the Act's speedy passage through the House of Commons, saying: "Parliament has been insulted …[This is] democratic banditry resonant of a rogue state." Say what you mean, Tom.

  • Liberty Global Inc. (Nasdaq: LBTY) has submitted a range of concessions to the European Commission in a bid to clear the way for its proposed acquisition of Dutch cable operator Ziggo B.V. , reports Reuters. The deadline for a decision on the deal in October 17. (See Euronews: Rivals Set for Cable Asset Battle.)

  • BICS , Belgacom SA (Euronext: BELG)'s international services arm, has established a new point-of-presence in Johannesburg, in facilities provided by South African data center company Teraco.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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    User Rank: Light Sabre
    7/18/2014 | 3:54:14 AM
    Re: Where's The Growth
    and voila, the axe is here and it hit the Nokia employees the most, as expected. it is sad to see people people doing(mostly well) their job being left alone.
    User Rank: Light Sabre
    7/17/2014 | 1:32:56 AM
    Re: Where's The Growth
    Agreed. But devices division isn't doing that well and phones are trailing behind with even some being put of production. I am not even sure if the old Nokia fits in the new MSFT roadmap as it is adding no value currently. MSFT is also to be blamed for this.
    User Rank: Light Sabre
    7/16/2014 | 12:11:32 PM
    Re: Where's The Growth
    Any time one brand takes over another, there are layoffs. They often do it right from the start because they want to keep their native culture dominant or just want to eliminate duplication of roles. Sometimes, though, they give a false sense of security and only let the axe fall a couple of months later.  
    User Rank: Light Sabre
    7/16/2014 | 10:58:48 AM
    Where's The Growth
    Where's the growth or even stability in Microsoft's products and markets.   It seems like long term decline with maybe some stability in back office business areas.  Kind of like the way IBM lasted from the 1960s to 1990s because of entrenched COBOL applications, the analog being the .NET and SQL Server platforms.
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