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Euronews: AlcaLu CEO Delivers Stark Warning

Also in today's EMEA roundup: BT supports startups; Telefónica may Czech out; lipstick on pigs; online shopping habits.

  • As French labor unions prepare to protest in Paris today against proposed Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) job cuts, CEO Michel Combes has warned that the company "could disappear" unless the radical action is taken, reports Reuters. Last week the vendor announced plans to cut 10,000 jobs worldwide, 900 of them in France, incurring the wrath of high-profile politicians and union leaders. (See Euronews: French Fury at AlcaLu Layoffs , Alcatel-Lucent to Cut 10,000 Jobs, and Alcatel-Lucent Builds Future Around IP.)

  • BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) has partnered with TechHub, which offers collaborative workspace to would-be tech entrepreneurs, to launch the Infinity Lab program. BT hopes the competition could give rise to new applications and services that it could offer to customers to help them get the most out of their high-speed broadband connections. BT isn't going to invest in any startups (at least not for now), but is offering the winning entrepreneurs six months' support in areas such as marketing and engineering. They will also gain membership of TechHub's "community space" in East London's so-called Tech City.

  • Telefónica SA (NYSE: TEF) has told Reuters that it is exploring various "strategic options" for its Czech business, one of which may be the sale of its $3.6 billion stake in the unit to investment group PPF.

  • One of Google (Nasdaq: GOOG)'s rivals has dismissed the search giant's proposals aimed at placating the European Commission's antitrust watchdog as akin to "putting lipstick on a pig." (If you want to know if this is a look that works, click here.) Google came under the antitrust spotlight for its perceived failure to adequately show links to rivals' services in its search results.

  • As the nights start drawing in and the temperature plummets here at Euronews Towers, our thoughts naturally turn to our chestnuts roasting on the open fire -- and the season of online shopping. What luck, then, that Eurostat has just released a study of Europe's online shopping habits. It seems Brits are the keenest, with 82 percent of Internet users filling their virtual trolleys in the past 12 months. Denmark and Sweden are close behind, on 79 percent each. Interestingly, Italy is way down the list, with only 29 percent buying online. Online shopping for food and groceries is still something of a minority sport, accounting for only 10 percent of Internet users or fewer in most member states, though again, the UK leads the way here with a figure of 21 percent.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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    DOShea 10/25/2013 | 10:03:39 PM
    Re: AlcaLu Issues Coming back to this Alcatel-Lucent item after thinking about the fact that Cisco cut 4,000 jobs and Juniper just announced 280 job cuts. No comparisons to make, especially with Juniper's cuts being minimal, but there is a growing theme of companies having decent quarters and seeing sector strength in areas like optical, and then cutting jobs. Not sure what to make of it, but it is interesting.
    DOShea 10/16/2013 | 9:07:58 PM
    Re: AlcaLu Issues He should of said the compnay's ability to attract a merger partner "could disappear" without this radical action... I guess that would have seemed insensitive.
    DanJones 10/15/2013 | 12:51:43 PM
    Re: AlcaLu Issues 18 months of carrier testing isn't generally my idea of "swoop in" but I get your point.
    Sarah Thomas 10/15/2013 | 12:43:32 PM
    Re: AlcaLu Issues No kidding. Interesting leadership approach. 
    mendyk 10/15/2013 | 12:33:21 PM
    Re: AlcaLu Issues The fact that a CEO of a publicly traded company would make such a statement is just startling.
    Sarah Thomas 10/15/2013 | 12:31:17 PM
    Re: AlcaLu Issues That's good news for a lot of the new SDN startups. When the hardware is less important, and the big vendors are struggling, they can swoop in.
    DanJones 10/15/2013 | 12:29:23 PM
    Re: AlcaLu Issues Makes you wonder if two or three vendors are enough. We've all heard of some delays for Sprint with Network Vision upgrades.
    Sarah Thomas 10/15/2013 | 12:28:33 PM
    Re: When online shopping goes bad Online grocery shopping may not be taking off, but services that send you prepared meals or ingredients for you to prepare you own meals are certainly taking off in the US. There is little reason to leave your home for anything today...
    Sarah Thomas 10/15/2013 | 12:27:11 PM
    Re: AlcaLu Issues True. Wouldn't be surprised if they start leaning more heavily on their other partners. That's why most are working with two or three vendors. 
    DanJones 10/15/2013 | 10:36:36 AM
    AlcaLu Issues I bet Verizon Wireless, AT&T and Sprint are watching the AlcaLu agony with trepidation. Their LTE rollouts are somewhat dependent on AlcaLu delivering gear.  
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