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Eurobites: Unions Predict Up to 15,000 Nokia Job Losses

Paul Rainford
5/24/2016

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.

  • The more conscientious Members of the European Parliament will today be reading up on the issues surrounding the transfer of data from the EU to the US, as tomorrow they will debate the efficacy or otherwise of the so-called Privacy Shield, which replaced the "Safe Harbor" agreement on EU-US data transfers. Safe Harbor was invalidated following the Schrems ruling. (See Eurobites: US Buffs Up Data 'Privacy Shield' and Eurobites: 'Safe Harbor' Heads for Calmer Waters.)

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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