Light Reading
Also in today's EMEA roundup: Numericable may buy Virgin Mobile France; another upgrade for Nokia; EU antitrust chief strikes back; BT's here for the beer.

Eurobites: Orange in French M&A Talks

Paul Rainford
5/16/2014
50%
50%

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Numericable may buy Virgin Mobile France; another upgrade for Nokia; EU antitrust chief strikes back; BT's here for the beer.

  • The ongoing ructions in the French telecom industry look set to continue with the news that both Orange (NYSE: FTE) and Bouygues Telecom are actively exploring merger options and are in talks with each other, according to this Reuters report. And in a company statement, Orange said that it "believes that consolidation of the French mobile market would be positive in the long-term for both investment and for the consumer." Bouygues lost out to Altice/Numericable a bidding war for rival SFR last month, and is on the lookout for another merger, with Orange the obvious candidate. (See Eurobites: Numericable Wins SFR M&A Tussle and Eurobites: Orange Returns to Form in France.)

  • And just to add to the fun en France, Reuters reports that Numericable has entered into talks with Virgin Mobile France about a possible acquisition of the MVNO, for €325 million ($446 million). Virgin Mobile France is 45% owned by Richard Branson.

  • Fresh from its rating upgrade from Moody's Investors Service earlier in the week, Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) has now had its former BB credit rating from Standard & Poor’s tweaked in a good way, to become "B+, with positive outlook." This is another vote of confidence in Rajeev Suri, who was recently appointed president and CEO of the group. (See Nokia CEO Must Channel Fighting Spirit.)

  • The head of the European Commission 's antitrust authority, Joaquín Almunia, has dismissed calls from telcos and others for restrictions on telecom mergers to be eased as "misguided," reports the Financial Times (subscription required). (See Euronews: Telcos Should Eat Each Other and Eurobites: EU Bigwig Wants to Relax M&A Rules.)

  • BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) appears to making its presence felt in the UK's soccer-gawping pubs and clubs with its BT Sport pay-TV offer. The operator says that more than 19,000 pubs, clubs, betting shops, hotels and other commercial premises have now signed up to its sports TV service, representing a 24% share of this market and putting it more or less on a par with Sky (NYSE, London: SKY), which had got used to having this sector pretty much by the short and curlies and charging top dollar for its equivalent service. (See Eurobites: Soccer Surge for BT's Fiscal Q4 BT's Got Balls, and Confirmed: BT's Got Euroballs.)

    Seth is lovin' the BT Sport.
    Seth is lovin' the BT Sport.

  • Iliad (Euronext: ILD), the mobile operator that has done so much to trigger the seismic shifts in the French market, has posted an 11% year-on-year increase in first-quarter sales to slightly over €1 billion ($1.37 billion), reports Reuters. The operator also said it had signed an impressive 595,000 new mobile subscribers in the quarter, taking its total to 8.64 million.

  • Following a ruling by the European Court of Justice that said Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) and other search engines had to delete what were deemed "outdated and irrelevant" search results at the request of members of the public affected by them, those "forget me" requests are already starting to land in Google's inbox, according to this BBC report. No names, no pack drill, but a former politician has asked for links to an article about his behavior (presumably not good) in office to be removed, while on a more serious note, a man convicted of possessing images of child abuse has requested links to media stories about his crime to be deleted. Close your eyes and you can almost hear Google's legal team crunching into gear…

  • How many EVPs does it take to "align digital initiatives with group strategy"? Three, if you're Telenor ASA (Nasdaq: TELN). The Nordic operator has appointed Henrik Clausen, Katja Christina Nordgaard, and Pål Wien Espen as executive vice presidents and new members of Group Executive Management as part of a restructuring operation that also sees new CEOs appointed to two local units. Interestingly, Nordgaard is currently the Norwegian Ambassador to Thailand and Cambodia. Maybe she was missing those interminable months of ice and snow and darkness… (See Telenor Appoints New Executive VPs, Divisional CEOs.)

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

    (8)  | 
    Comment  | 
    Print  | 
  • Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
    mendyk
    50%
    50%
    mendyk,
    User Rank: Light Sabre
    5/16/2014 | 10:14:46 AM
    Re: Orange and Bouygues
    Agree -- this merger may push things just a little too far.
    PaulERainford
    50%
    50%
    PaulERainford,
    User Rank: Light Sabre
    5/16/2014 | 9:42:03 AM
    Re: Not falling behind, not showing off...
    Ah, so that's what all those thrashings were about. It's all starting to make sense.
    Ray@LR
    50%
    50%
    Ray@LR,
    User Rank: Blogger
    5/16/2014 | 9:40:10 AM
    Re: Not falling behind, not showing off...
    It's because you are a sinner. Surely you remember that!!
    PaulERainford
    50%
    50%
    PaulERainford,
    User Rank: Light Sabre
    5/16/2014 | 9:21:32 AM
    Re: Not falling behind, not showing off...
    Me too, Dennis. Still feel guilty as hell, never quite sure why.
    mendyk
    50%
    50%
    mendyk,
    User Rank: Light Sabre
    5/16/2014 | 9:20:10 AM
    Re: Not falling behind, not showing off...
    I went to Catholic school. A "positive outlook" was not encouraged.
    PaulERainford
    50%
    50%
    PaulERainford,
    User Rank: Light Sabre
    5/16/2014 | 9:18:25 AM
    Re: Not falling behind, not showing off...
    That's all very well, but did you have a 'positive outlook' to go with it?
    Kruz
    50%
    50%
    Kruz,
    User Rank: Light Sabre
    5/16/2014 | 9:11:08 AM
    Orange and Bouygues
    Once the merger is completed, the entity will hold half of France's wirless users. A move that will not be well tolerated by the French regulator.
    mendyk
    50%
    50%
    mendyk,
    User Rank: Light Sabre
    5/16/2014 | 8:27:39 AM
    Not falling behind, not showing off...
    A B+ rating for Nokia -- outstanding! I rode that grade all through my school years.
    Educational Resources
    sponsor supplied content
    Educational Resources Archive
    Flash Poll
    From The Founder
    It's clear to me that the communications industry is divided into two types of people, and only one is living in the real world.
    LRTV Interviews
    The New Wave of IP + Optical Integration

    11|21|14   |   04:29   |   (7) comments


    At the Alcatel-Lucent Technology Symposium, Heavy Reading senior analyst Sterling Perrin talks about how SDN has reshaped the discussion around packet and optical integration.
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    Huawei Highlights at BBWF 2014

    11|20|14   |   3:40   |   (1) comment


    Broadband World Forum is one of the world's largest telecoms, media and technology events with over 7,800 senior executives from across the globe converging on Amsterdam every year to identify the Next Big Thing. BBWF is an exciting place to meet the entire industry under one roof and identify the latest in network innovation, service optimization and customer ...
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    How Will BCMS Stimulate Margin for Broadband Operators?

    11|19|14   |   6:52   |   (0) comments


    In BBWF 2014, Liu Shuqing emphasizes the value of FMC 2.0 based full service experience by throwing light on the BCMS solution. The underlying principle of this innovative technique is to create network robustness and driving network from connection oriented to ACE – BAND oriented infrastructure, in which applications, cloud, and user experiences will be an asset ...
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    SingleFAN3.0: Better Connected Experience

    11|19|14   |   3:06   |   (1) comment


    At the BBWF 2014, David Hu, the VP of Huawei Access Network Product Line, talked about the future of access networks – SingleFAN3.0: faster broadband, wider coverage, and smarter connection.
    LRTV Interviews
    Basil Alwan Interview: The Road to Cloud

    11|19|14   |   09:09   |   (0) comments


    Alcatel-Lucent's head of IP and Transport talks about the migration towards a web-like networking environment, the impact of the cloud, SDN and NFV, and the yet-to-be-announced FP4 chip.
    LRTV Documentaries
    FairPoint Makes a Fair Point About Analytics

    11|19|14   |   1:56   |   (1) comment


    The US-based communication service provider gets to grips with advanced analytics, tackling data and breaking down the silos within its own business.
    LRTV Documentaries
    Analytics Lets C Spire Get to Know Subs

    11|19|14   |   3:01   |   (2) comments


    It's all about the data for US operator C Spire as it uses analytics to personalize its customer service down to individual subscribers.
    LRTV Interviews
    Nuage Branches Out With SDN: CEO Interview

    11|17|14   |   9:32   |   (0) comments


    Sunil Khandekar, CEO of Alcatel-Lucent's SDN-focused unit Nuage Networks, talks about the opportunities and challenges of breaking out of the data center into wide-area networks.
    Light Reedy
    Telecom Analytics Grows Up

    11|14|14   |   1:15   |   (4) comments


    The big data analytics debate has moved on from a year ago, with some experts suggesting it's no longer a technology challenge.
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    Huawei Compass

    11|14|14   |   3:17   |   (1) comment


    At OpenStack Summit 2014, Shuo Yang, Huawei Principal Cloud Infrastructure Architect introduced Huawei Compass, the software tool for solving customers' problems on the journey of OpenStack Cloud.
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    Huawei's Cloud Strategy in European Region

    11|14|14   |   2:56   |   (1) comment


    At OpenStack Summit 2014, Dr. Gotz, CTO of Huawei IT in European Region introduced Huawei's cloud strategy in European region.
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    Huawei's Contribution on OpenStack

    11|14|14   |   5:58   |   (0) comments


    At OpenStack Summit 2014, Dennis Gu, Huawei Chief Architect of Cloud Computing introduced the relationship between OpenStack and cloud computing, and Huawei's contribution on OpenStack.
    Upcoming Live Events
    December 2, 2014, New York City
    December 3, 2014, New York City
    December 8-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
    February 12, 2015, Atlanta, GA
    April 14, 2015, New York City, NY
    May 6, 2015, McCormick Convention Center, Chicago, IL
    May 13-14, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
    June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
    Infographics
    Irish Telecom outlines the rise of VoIP technology, including its adoption within businesses and their perception of its quality.
    Hot Topics
    Bell Labs Chief Slams 'Toy' Networks
    Robert Clark, 11/19/2014
    $38.3M: Ain't That a Kik in the SMS
    Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 11/20/2014
    Do You Have a 2020 Vision?
    Dennis Mendyk, Vice President of Research, Heavy Reading, 11/21/2014
    Last Chapter (11) for Aereo
    Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 11/21/2014
    Google, AT&T, BT Unite on Network Data Models
    Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 11/20/2014
    Like Us on Facebook
    Twitter Feed