Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: It's crunch time for Apple versus the EU; Infinera deployed for Greece-Italy link; TIM gets new multimedia boss; why Netflix should be worried.
Well, he didn't waste much time. Barely a couple of weeks since he announced he was stepping down from the CEO slot at Sweden's Telia, Johan Dennelind has taken over the reins at Du, the Dubai-based operator. As Arabian Business reports, Osman Sultan stepped down as CEO at Du after 14 years at the helm. The original intention was for Dennelind to remain at Telia until his notice period ended next year and a successor had been found, but it seems Du's offer did for that particular plan. (See Eurobites: Telia CEO Dennelind to Quit in 2020 and Eurobites: Telia Appoints New CEO.)
It's crunch time for Apple in Europe this week, as the cocky tech behemoth squares up to EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager in the courts over whether it owes Ireland $14.4 billion in unpaid taxes. As Bloomberg reports, the court's ruling, when it finally emerges, may either turbocharge or pull the rug from under Vestager's other tax investigations, which have shifted their focus onto Amazon and Google parent Alphabet. It's not as though Ireland even wants the money -- it maintains the EU's stance on the issue is an unfair one and would prefer to preserve its status as a tax-efficient friend of job-creating tech giants than cause a scene. (See Eurobites: Apple Stumps Up €14.3B in Unpaid Taxes to Ireland (But Doesn't Really Mean It) and Eurobites: Don't Pick On Apple, Says Irish Telecom Tycoon.)
Oteglobe has turned to Infinera's Infinite Capacity Engine (ICE4) technology to double the capacity on its international network on the two 350km subsea links between Greece and Italy. Oteglobe's network provides an alternative route for wholesale carriers in Europe wanting to connect to Asia and the rest of the world via its Mediterranean hub in Greece.
Andrea Fabiano has joined Telecom Italia (TIM) as head of multimedia and CEO of TIMvision, the group's audio-visual content subsidiary. Fabiano was formerly a senior executive at RAI, the Italian public broadcaster.
In what could be bad news for Netflix and other online service providers, a service which automatically cancels online subscriptions at the end of the oft-promoted "free trial period" has been launched in the UK. As the BBC reports, the app, "Free Trial Surfing," is not linked to a customer's actual bank account but uses a "virtual" credit card number that is registered to "Do Not Pay," a company owned by the creator of the app, Josh Browder. The virtual credit card cannot be used for any other payment. According to Browder, the idea for the app was prompted by him realizing he had been charged $21.99 a month for over a year for a gym membership he was never using, after signing up for a free trial (that turned out to be not so free). Browder says that since his app was launched in the US a few weeks ago, porn platforms and Netflix have been the two most common subscriptions for which it has been used.