Neelie Kroes, the European Commission 's vice president for the Digital Agenda, may have raised a few eyebrows with her latest proclamation at a conference on Monday: Reuters reports that famed antitrust fiend "Steely" Neelie expressed her support for consolidation among European telcos, saying that having just a few pan-European operators that are strong in the cross-border market "would not necessarily be bad for competition," and would indeed help speed up fiber rollouts in the region. (See Steely Neelie's FTTX Face Off and Brakes Stuck on Europe's FTTH Ride.)
And talking of the European Commission... The EC has given its blessing to €6 million ($7.6 million) of public financing towards the construction of a fiber-based broadband network in the U.K. city of Birmingham, noting that it is "in line with EU state aid rules, in particular because it will be genuinely open to all operators and will therefore promote competition."
Elsewhere on the Slim-versus-KPN front, Reuters reports that the billionaire is piling the pressure on KPN by buying more of the Dutch telco's stock at a lower price than he had just offered for up to 27.7 percent of the company. América Móvil's holding in KPN now stands at 7 percent.
Irish incumbent eircom has moved out of examinership (a process akin to administration) and is now in the hands of the senior lenders, according to the Irish Times. In its new form, Eircom Holdings (Ireland) Limited, it is carrying 40 percent less debt than it was before. (See Lenders to Lean on Eircom.)