Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Turkish PM bristles at un-banning of Twitter; Allot lands $5 million Tier 1 deal; BT Sport joins Chromecast line-up; Google upsets Italians.
Vodafone Group plc (NYSE: VOD) has run into a spot of bother in Egypt, reports the Financial Times (subscription required). The UK-based giant may have to buy out its state-backed mobile partner, Telecom Egypt, as the regulator has decreed that Telecom Egypt needs to acquire its own mobile license. Telecom Egypt currently holds a 45% stake in Vodafone's local unit. Vodafone will also have to pay E£100 million (US$14 million) to Telecom Egypt for the privilege of using its landlines, adds the report.
Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan is less than delighted about a court ruling lifting the ban on Twitter, reports Reuters. Access to the microblogging platform was blocked on March 21, after users had posted documents to the site reportedly showing evidence of government corruption. A ban on YouTube was also lifted Friday morning.
BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA)'s premium sports channel, BT Sport, which is offered "free" to all BT broadband subscribers, is adding the BT Sport app to the line-up on Chromecast, Google (Nasdaq: GOOG)'s pint-sized content streaming device. BT broadband subscribers will be able to "cast" the app from their Android or iOS devices onto their TV screens. (See BT's Got Balls and Chromecast & the Battle for the Living Room.)
Norway's Telenor ASA (Nasdaq: TELN) has been updating the world on the progress of its redundancies program. Following a review period, 182 employees have been granted redundancy packages, while more than 100 employees are expected to leave for early retirement during the course of this year. The operator is also aiming to cut back drastically on the number of external consultants it uses as part of the overall cost-cutting exercise.
Google's fleet of Street View cars has been making itself unpopular again in Europe: This time it's the Italian authorities who have slapped a fine on the search giant, for not labelling the street-snapping cars clearly enough. CEO Larry Page probably won't lose too much sleep, however: it's a €1 million (£830,000) fine. (See Making Google Less Creepy.)
In Germany, Google's Street View cars received a rapturous welcome wherever they went.
Re: Pint-sized Chromecast I stand corrected. Vodka-shot-sized? Not sure that will catch on. Just trying to keep the pint alive, Dan, cos over here we're not really allowed pints anymore. I have a four-pint bottle of milk on the table in front of me, except it's not labelled as 'four pints', it's '2.272 litres'. Makes you think.
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