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Euronews: Bouygues Back in SFR Frame With Higher Offer

Paul Rainford

Also in today's EMEA roundup: Turkey blocks Twitter; roaming milestone; chickens from hell!

  • Just when we thought it was all done and dusted, the SFR bidding war has been reignited with a fresh offer from Bouygues Telecom , adding another €1.85 billion (US$2.55 billion) in cash to its previous bid, reports Reuters. SFR's owner, Vivendi , had begun exclusive negotiations with Numericable-SFR earlier in the week, but this latest bid, which has the backing of the French government through the state CDC fund, will no doubt put the cat among the pigeons [Editor's note: Surely the chat parmi les pigeons?] (See Euronews: Iliad Shares Soar in Wake of Bouygues Pact.)

  • The Turkish government is trying to block Twitter, according to this BBC report. The Turkish prime minister, Tayyip Erdogan, had it in for the microblogging platform after users had posted documents to the site reportedly showing evidence of government corruption.

  • The European Parliament has moved another step closer to ending roaming charges in the European Union, with a vote in favor of the plan for a telecom single market by the Parliament's Industry, Research and Energy Committee.

  • Which?, the influential UK consumer rights organization, has conducted fresh research that reveals the not altogether surprising news that most British consumers are still not getting the broadband speeds or levels of service that they had been led to believe they were paying for. The research found that 63% of them experienced problems with their broadband, and 45% specifically suffering from slow download speeds. Which? has started an online petition in a surely doomed attempt to put matters right. See this press release for more details.

  • And finally… there's been a lot of talk this week about prehistoric "chickens from hell," the remains of which have been found in North and South Dakota. Okay, it's got absolutely nothing to do with telecoms (though they might have tweeted) or the EMEA region for that matter, but we'd just like to set the record straight. Get with the program, dino-boffins: Giant, hair-raising chickens aren't just bones in the Dakota dust -- they are still very much walking among us. And they should not be approached…

    A chicken from hell.
    A chicken from hell.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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    Mitch Wagner
    Mitch Wagner,
    User Rank: Lightning
    3/21/2014 | 5:39:20 PM
    Re: Twitter in Turkey
    The ban is reportedly a political flashpoint in Turkey. 

    Industry Minister Fikri Isik said talks with Twitter were taking place and the ban would be lifted if the San Francisco-based firm appointed a representative in Turkey and agreed to block specific content when requested by Turkish courts.

    I'm optimistic that Twitter responded with a counterproposal: The government of Turkey can get stuffed (so to speak), the people of Turkey will continue to work around the government's attempts to block Twitter, and Twitter Corp. will come back and talk to the next government after the people have overthrown their current regime later this year.

    Also this: 

    "Waking up to no Twitter in Turkey feels like waking up to a coup. The modern equivalent of occupying the radio stations," U.S. author and journalist Andrew Finkel, who has reported from Turkey for more than 20 years, said on his Twitter account.
    Mitch Wagner
    Mitch Wagner,
    User Rank: Lightning
    3/21/2014 | 5:32:25 PM
    Re: hello chicken!
    You hardly ever see a guy in a chicken suit anymore.
    Sarah Thomas
    Sarah Thomas,
    User Rank: Blogger
    3/21/2014 | 10:01:06 AM
    hello chicken!
    But, he looks like such an approachable chicken!
    Sarah Thomas
    Sarah Thomas,
    User Rank: Blogger
    3/21/2014 | 9:59:20 AM
    Re: Twitter in Turkey
    I'm surprised anyone, including governments, still thinks blocking an outlet like Twitter will work, especially as a means to hide evidence of corruption...
    User Rank: Light Sabre
    3/21/2014 | 9:14:08 AM
    Twitter in Turkey
    The Turkish Gov. is trying to block twitter ahead of the elections but this will inevitably backfire. Now Twitter is seeing more subscribers join in Turkey. There is no way to block vpn and proxies while internet access is still granted...
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