Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: EU court declares Data Retention Directive invalid; OpenCloud scores in Egypt; Deutsche Telekom workers plan strike action.
The Chinese government has given its blessing to the proposed sale of Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK)'s devices business to Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT), making the hoped-for closure of the deal by the end of this month more likely. The sale had originally been scheduled to close in March, but concerns of rival, Asia-based phone makers expressed to Chinese authorities are thought to have put a brake on the progress of the transaction. The deal has so far received regulatory approvals from China, the European Commission, the US Department of Justice, among others. (See Nokia's Devices Sale Gets Approval From China and Euronews: Nokia Handsets Sale Delayed.)
The European Court of Justice has declared that the EU Data Retention Directive, which was introduced in March 2006 and requires telcos to store the communications-related metadata of EU citizens for up to two years, is invalid. The Directive was introduced in the wake of terrorist bomb outrages in Madrid and London, but provoked much controversy, which intensified following the Snowden revelations of widespread data-snooping by intelligence agencies. (See Euronews: Germany Takes Stand on Snoops and Euronews: Prism Prompts EU Data Rethink.)
ADVA Optical Networking (Frankfurt: ADV) has completed its acquisition of Oscilloquartz SA, which was part of the Swatch Group. ADVA hopes Oscilloquartz's synchronization capabilities will bolster its presence in the backhaul systems market, and it plans to assimilate Oscilloquartz's technology into its Syncjack offering.
Verdi, the German labor union that represents thousands of Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT) workers, has called on DT employees to go out on strike today and Wednesday, reports Reuters. Verdi is pushing for a 5.5% pay raise; DT has to date offered 3%.
Privacy and security advocates are tugging in opposite directions. Privacy advocates want records to be destroyed, and security advocates want them retained. I'm skeptical whether retaining the records actually enhances security. For starters, no one has ever asserted that 9/11 happened because the cops had too little information. We've seen the same thing with the Boston Marathon bombing — the cops already knew the culprits were bad guys, but the information got buried in the mass of other data.
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