& cplSiteName &

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-SFR 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        ADD A COMMENT
    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.
    From The Founder
    NFV's promises of automation and virtualization are intriguing, but what really excites service providers is the massive amount of money they could save.
    Flash Poll
    Live Streaming Video
    Charting the CSP's Future
    Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
    Women in Comms Introduction Videos
    VMWare VP Brings Women Up With Her

    8|16|17   |   6:49   |   (1) comment


    It's an art and a science to make mentorship, inclusive leadership, diversity and promotion of high-potential women work, says Honore' LaBourdette, vice president of Global Market Development at VMWare.
    LRTV Documentaries
    5G Spectrum Wars – The Recap

    8|15|17   |   2:22   |   (0) comments


    Service provider 3 has filed a lawsuit against Ofcom over 5G spectrum auction in the UK.
    LRTV Custom TV
    Say What? Facebook Unleashes AI Anarchy – The Recap

    8|7|17   |     |   (0) comments


    A recap of the week's talking points on Light Reading's sister site, telecoms.com. Facebook AI programmers had a bit of a brain-fade as they allowed one of its AI applications to invent its ...
    Women in Comms Introduction Videos
    Fujitsu's Women Band Together to Help Girls Do STEM

    8|2|17   |   9:35   |   (1) comment


    Supporting women both inside and outside of Fujitsu is a top priority of the telecom vendor. Yanbing Li, Fujitsu Network Communication's director of System Software Development & Delivery, shares why it's important, but why there's still a long road ahead.
    LRTV Custom TV
    If You're Not First, You're Last – The Recap

    7|31|17   |   08:18   |   (1) comment


    In case you missed it, Amazon's 1% stock increase helped Jeff Bezos dethrone Bill Gates as the richest man in the world. Also, Taiwanese electronics manufacturer
    Women in Comms Introduction Videos
    AT&T's Tech President Preps Workforce for the Future

    7|26|17   |   5:47   |   (10) comments


    AT&T is focused on the software-defined network of the future and is reskilling its workforce to get ready too, according to AT&T's President of Technology Development Melissa Arnoldi.
    Women in Comms Introduction Videos
    Cisco: Mentoring Critical to Attract & Retain Women

    7|19|17   |   6:40   |   (1) comment


    Liz Centoni, senior vice president and general manager of Cisco's Computing System Product Group, shares why mentoring in all its forms is important for women and what Cisco is doing that's made a difference for women in tech.
    LRTV Custom TV
    Gigabit LTE With Snapdragon 835

    7|12|17   |     |   (1) comment


    At an event in Wembley stadium, EE used its live network to demonstrate gigabit LTE using a Sony Xperia XZ Premium smartphone with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chip.
    LRTV Custom TV
    Implementing Machine Intelligence With Guavus

    7|12|17   |     |   (0) comments


    Guavus unites big data and machine intelligence, enabling many of the the largest service providers in the world to save money and drive measureable revenue. Learn how applying Machine Intelligence substantially reduces operational costs and in many cases can eliminate subscriber impact, meaning a better subscriber experience and higher NPS.
    LRTV Custom TV
    Unlocking Customer Experience Insights With Machine Intelligence

    7|12|17   |     |   (0) comments


    When used to analyze operational data and to drive operational decisions, machine intelligence reduces the number of tasks which require human intervention. Guavus invested in Machine Intelligence early. Learn about the difference between Machine Learning and Machine Intelligence.
    Women in Comms Introduction Videos
    Verizon VP Talks Network, Career Planning

    7|12|17   |   4:49   |   (0) comments


    Heidi Hemmer, vice president of Technology, Strategy & Planning at Verizon, shares how bold bets and the future of tech define her career.
    Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
    Masergy's NFV Journey

    7|11|17   |     |   (0) comments


    Ray Watson, vice president of global technology at Masergy, discusses the advantages and challenges in entering the still-maturing NFV market for the past three years.
    Upcoming Live Events
    September 28, 2017, Denver, CO
    October 18, 2017, Colorado Convention Center - Denver, CO
    November 1, 2017, The Royal Garden Hotel
    November 1, 2017, The Montcalm Marble Arch
    November 2, 2017, 8 Northumberland Avenue, London, UK
    November 30, 2017, The Westin Times Square
    All Upcoming Live Events
    Infographics
    With the mobile ecosystem becoming increasingly vulnerable to security threats, AdaptiveMobile has laid out some of the key considerations for the wireless community.
    Hot Topics
    Intel CEO Leaves Trump Biz Advisory Board
    Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 8/15/2017
    Are Cord-Cutting's Days Numbered?
    Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading, 8/14/2017
    Analyst Nolle: Fundamental Errors Plague NFV
    Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 8/11/2017
    Snapchat Misses Estimates, Eyes Reality Shows
    Aditya Kishore, Practice Leader, Video Transformation, Telco Transformation, 8/11/2017
    Verizon Video Woes Pile On
    Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 8/14/2017
    Like Us on Facebook
    Twitter Feed
    Animals with Phones
    We Know a Tough Day When We See One Click Here
    Live Digital Audio

    Understanding the full experience of women in technology requires starting at the collegiate level (or sooner) and studying the technologies women are involved with, company cultures they're part of and personal experiences of individuals.

    During this WiC radio show, we will talk with Nicole Engelbert, the director of Research & Analysis for Ovum Technology and a 23-year telecom industry veteran, about her experiences and perspectives on women in tech. Engelbert covers infrastructure, applications and industries for Ovum, but she is also involved in the research firm's higher education team and has helped colleges and universities globally leverage technology as a strategy for improving recruitment, retention and graduation performance.

    She will share her unique insight into the collegiate level, where women pursuing engineering and STEM-related degrees is dwindling. Engelbert will also reveal new, original Ovum research on the topics of artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, security and augmented reality, as well as discuss what each of those technologies might mean for women in our field. As always, we'll also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air and chat board.