Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Vodafone bigwig on his way; Swisscom fined over sports TV content arrangements; Spotify still losing money.
Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) is on course to slash up to 15,000 jobs worldwide as part of its cost-cutting program, according to a senior union official at the vendor's Oulu site in Finland. As Reuters reports, Nokia announced in April that it planned to create savings of $1 billion in operating costs by 2018, but it hasn't put a firm figure on the number of redundancies that will entail. Nokia declined to comment on the estimate, which was made by Risto Lehtilahti, a trade union shop steward, after consultation with "union contacts." Nokia surprised the industry last week by announcing a return to consumer devices, albeit via a convoluted licensing agreement with a subsidiary of Taiwan's Foxconn. (See Nokia to Slash Jobs Following AlcaLu Merger and Nokia Plays It Smart With Major Mobile Devices Brand Deal.)
Vodafone Group plc (NYSE: VOD) is losing one of its key execs to the financial industry. Paolo Bertoluzzo, its group chief commercial operations and strategy officer, is leaving the company on July 8 to become group CEO of ICBPI, the largest private equity investment firm in Italy. His successor will be announced in due course.
Swisscom AG (NYSE: SCM) and content rights company Cinetrade/Teleclub have together been fined 71.8 million Swiss francs (US$72.4 million) by the Swiss competition authority Comco for illegal marketing of sports content via pay-TV. According to Comco, Swisscom and Cinetrade/Teleclub occupy a dominant market position, particularly with regard to the coverage of national soccer and ice hockey events, and must offer all TV platforms in Switzerland -- if technically feasible -- an equivalent Teleclub sport offering on non-discriminatory terms. Swisscom, which defends its position on the grounds of the investment it has made in the live coverage of sport, will appeal the decision.
Spotify , the Sweden-based music streaming service, increased its revenues by 80% on the previous year, to €1.95 billion ($2.2 billion), but still failed to make a profit, reports the BBC. In fact, net losses widened by 7% on the previous year, to €173 million ($193 million). By the end of year, the service had 28 million paying subscribers out of a total of 89 million active monthly users.