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Eurobites: Elop's Golden Parachute Inflates

Paul Rainford

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: BSkyB's profits slip; Virgin considers slow-speed sell-off; Orange not happy about network-sharing deal.

  • Expect to see Stephen Elop-shaped effigies burning in Finland tonight: It's been revealed that the pay-off received by the former Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) CEO on his return to the Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) mothership is even bigger than originally anticipated. The BBC reports that he got $33.5 million -- around 30% higher than the figure first announced, mainly due to an increase in the value of the Nokia shares that form part of the deal. Reports that Elop will be the next face of L'Oréal -- catchline: "Because he's worth it -- are thought to be unfounded. (See Microsoft's Elop Denies He Was a Trojan Horse and Will Elop Return Without the Crown?)

  • Sky (NYSE, London: SKY)'s fiscal third-quarter operating profits slipped 8.5% year-on-year to £910 million (US$1.5 billion) as it dug deep into its coffers to see off competition in the premium sports content market from BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA), reports the Daily Telegraph. This was despite revenues climbing 7% to £5.67 billion ($9.58 billion) and a 74,000 net rise in new TV subscriptions, a stat which flew in the face of predictions from Credit Suisse and Berenberg that subs would shrink back for the first time in more than a decade. (See BT's Got Balls.)

  • Virgin Media Inc. (Nasdaq: VMED) is putting all its eggs in the cable high-speed basket (metaphor ©Eurobites) by lining up the sale of its non-fiber broadband business in the UK, reports the Financial Times (subscription required). The business, called Virgin Media National, is the DSL service that Virgin Media sells in non-cabled areas and counts more than 130,000 customers. It is thought BT and BSkyB are among the potential buyers.

  • Orange (NYSE: FTE) isn't happy about a proposed network-sharing agreement in France between SFR and Bouygues Telecom , reports Reuters, citing French newspaper Les Echos. Orange believes the agreement covers too much of the country, rendering it anti-competitive. Regulator ARCEP is expected to review the complaint.

  • The latest telecom network security scare is in Ireland, where national operator eircom was forced to "lock down" its email service after it detected "an intrusion on the perimeter" of the service on Tuesday. Relevant bodies, including the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner, were alerted, and eircom recommended its email customers change their passwords.

  • Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT) has reached a pay agreement with labor union Ver.di relating to the 20,000 or so workers in its T-Systems International GmbH enterprise IT unit. Salaries will increase in two steps by a total of 3.5%, starting in June. T-Systems is in the midst of a two-year "transformation program."

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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