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Euronews: Liberty Enters Kabel M&A Fray

Vodafone Group plc, Liberty Global Inc. and Orange kick off today's roundup of EMEA telecom news.

  • Vodafone isn't the only one with designs on Kabel Deutschland GmbH: U.S. cable giant Liberty Global has now weighed in with a rival bid for the German cable operator, according to this BBC report. The size of the Liberty bid hasn't been revealed, though some analysts estimate it to be in the region of €7.5 billion (US$10 billion). Liberty clearly has aspirations to control Europe's cable services sector and is prepared to dig deep into its pockets to fund those aspirations, as it's still in the throes of digesting its most recent major purchase in the region, Virgin Media Inc.. (See Euronews: Vodafone Confirms Kabel Bid and Liberty Global Gets Go-Ahead for Virgin Takeover.)

  • As anticipated, Orange CEO Stephane Richard has received the full backing of the Orange board of directors, despite his being embroiled in the Bernard Tapie compensation case. In a statement, the board opined that "the legal measures affecting Stéphane Richard do not impede his ability to fully and effectively lead Orange as its Chairman and Chief Executive Officer."

  • Former High Tech Computer Corp. (HTC) bigwigs Michael Coombes and James Atkins are today launching their new mobile phone venture, Kazam. According to Coombes, they aim to offer "quality smartphones that are accessible to everyone," and the first examples of their wares will go on sale later this year.

  • State-backed Qatari operator Ooredoo is to invest more than $274 million in its fiber access broadband rollout, reports Arabian Business, with the intention of having every home in the Gulf state connected by the end of 2014. Qatar has a population of around 1.9 million and rising.

  • BankID, a Norwegian mobile finance service that allows smartphone users to deploy their handsets as "pin pads" for online shopping while away from home, has proved a hit, with Telenor alone finding that 200,000 of their subscribers have got on board.

  • Which?, the U.K. consumers' rights organization, has found that British mobile operators are still misleading their customers when it comes to the thorny of "fixed-rate" contracts that turn out to be not quite so fixed, according to this report in the Daily Telegraph.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

  • Ray Le Maistre 6/18/2013 | 11:29:42 AM
    re: Euronews: Liberty Enters Kabel M&A Fray Just how many major acquisitions can the Liberty balance sheet handle?
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