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In today's EMEA roundup: EC thinks MotoMob may have been unFRANDly; Sony Mobile replaces Bert Nordberg; Telecom Italia considers spin-off

Euronews: EC Probes Moto Mobility

Paul Rainford
4/4/2012
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Motorola Mobility LLC , Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL), Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) and Sony Mobile Communications AB jostle for position on the grid of Wednesday's EMEA news.

  • Complaints from Apple and Microsoft have prompted the European Commission to open two formal antitrust investigations into whether Motorola Mobility has "abusively" contravened commitments it gave to standard-setting organizations over what are deemed "essential patents" -- that is, patents that are declared essential to produce standard-compliant products on so-called FRAND (fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory) terms. Motorola has sought to block the sale of a number of Apple products in various territories over recent months. (See EC Investigates Moto Mobility, EC Hints at Smartphone Patent Probe and Apple Sues Moto .)

  • U.K.-based Sony Mobile has a new president and CEO in the form of Kunimasa Suzuki, who steps into Bert Nordberg's shoes. Suzuki will be based in Lund (Sweden) and Tokyo, and will be looking to inject some of that old "Sonyness" magic into the company's mobile products. (See Sony Mobile Names New CEO and Sony Builds Up Its 'Sonyness'.)

  • Franco Bernabe, the executive chairman of Telecom Italia SpA (NYSE: TI), is considering spinning off its access network, reports Reuters, citing an interview in the Il Sole 24 Ore business newspaper. The move could raise as much as €4 billion (US$5.34 billion), the newspaper added.

  • Telefónica Deutschland GmbH believes it has identified potential energy savings worth €1.8 million ($2.37 million) a year following a pilot it conducted with the GSM Association (GSMA) in partnership with Nokia Networks . The GSMA's Mobile Energy Efficiency Optimisation project looks to formulate "action plans" (so much better than those inaction plans) for mobile operators to reduce network energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions. (See TEF Deutschland Saves With Green Plan.)

  • Netia Holdings SA , the Polish fixed-line operator, is to let three private equity firms have a peek at its books with a view to making a purchase, reports Reuters, citing unnamed sources.

  • Police have returned to Orange (NYSE: FTE) offices in and around Paris as part of the ongoing investigation into the rash of suicides and attempted suicides that took place in 2009-2010, the Press Association reports. (See FT Suspends Restructuring and FT's CEO Under Pressure.)

  • Vodafone Netherlands suffered a major outage this morning as a fire swept through a network center in Rotterdam, reports Bloomberg. Around 700 transmission towers were out of service following the fire.

  • U.K. regulator Ofcom is proposing that calls from mobiles to 0800 "freephone" numbers should indeed be free, as they are from BT landlines. At the moment the cost of 0800 calls from mobiles varies widely, and can be up to 21 pence (33 US cents) a minute.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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