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Eurobites: Telefónica Gets EC Green Light on E-Plus Deal

Paul Rainford
9/1/2014
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Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Iliad first-half revenues up, plus fresh T-Mobile bid speculation; Liberty Global sniffs around ITV; Vodafone protests net neutrality proposals.

  • Telefónica Deutschland GmbH has been given the green light from the European Commission for its €8.1 billion (US$10.7 billion) takeover of KPN Telecom NV (NYSE: KPN)'s German mobile unit, E-Plus Service GmbH & Co. KG . In order to win the approval from Brussels, Telefonica agreed to sell up to 30% of its mobile network capacity. The combined business will be Germany's largest mobile service provider by subscribers, with about 43 million customers (first-quarter 2013 numbers) and a market share of about 38%.

  • French operator Iliad (Euronext: ILD), which stepped into the global spotlight with its audacious but unsuccessful $15 billion bid for control of T-Mobile US Inc. , has posted first-half revenues up 10.4% year-on-year to €2.02 billion ($2.66 billion), reports Reuters. Iliad's cut-price mobile brand, Free Mobile , has recorded particularly strong growth, with revenues up 24.1% to €745.7 million ($979.6 million). And it seems Iliad's T-Mobile aspirations are very much alive and kicking: Bloomberg reports that Iliad is talking to several private equity firms with a view to making a fresh bid for Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT)'s US unit. (See Iliad's Bid for T-Mobile: This Ain't No Joke and Eurobites: Deutsche Telekom Names Its Price for T-Mobile US.)

  • US cable giant Liberty Global Inc. (Nasdaq: LBTY) is gathering support from the relevant shareholders for an attempted takeover of ITV, the UK's number one commercial TV broadcaster, reports the Daily Telegraph. Earlier in the summer Liberty acquired a 6.4% stake in ITV, a move which prompted speculation that a full takeover bid might be just around the corner.

  • Carrying Netflix? What's in it for us? Vodafone Group plc (NYSE: VOD) isn't happy about the European Commission's proposed rules on net neutrality, and it plans to use a conference in Spain today to vent its displeasure, reports Bloomberg.

  • A gaggle of bankers and investors interviewed by Reuters has come to the conclusion that Telecom Italia SpA (NYSE: TI) is in a vulnerable position and has egg on its face following its unsuccessful attempt to buy Vivendi 's Brazilian broadband unit, Global Village Telecom (GVT). Telefónica prevailed in the bidding war for GVT, with its $9.8 billion offer. (See Telefónica, Telecom Italia in $9B Battle to Buy Brazil's GVT.)

  • The GSM Association (GSMA) is making its presence felt: Firstly, it has called on the European Commission to bring forward (from 2020) its proposed timetable for the repurposing of the 700MHz band for mobile broadband; and, secondly, it is asking governments in sub-Saharan Africa to review their approach to mobile-specific taxation, specifically the use of the Surtax on International Incoming Traffic (or SIIT) which, claims the GSMA, stifles economic growth in those countries.

  • Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) has completed the fourth upgrade of the SAT-3/WASC subsea cable system, doubling the capacity of the system that links Europe with the West African coast and Southern Africa.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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    Ray@LR
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    Ray@LR,
    User Rank: Blogger
    9/1/2014 | 7:59:22 AM
    Iliad prediction
    I predict that by the end of September Iliad will have an offer on the table that will meet DT's requirements, but a legal storm will then rumble and roll for at least a year as everyone and their dog files complaints and objections, by which time the landscape will have changed so much that the offer doesn't seem quite so good any more (to Iliad, probably).

    Just a hunch - let's see what happens... 
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