Telecom Italia (TIM) has made an exploratory bid for BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA)'s Italian unit, which was the focus of a major accounting scandal for the UK incumbent back in 2017. According to Bloomberg, BT's Italian arm has also caught the attention of Wind Tre and Retelit. The irregularities at BT's Italian business were first revealed in October 2017, when BT estimated the cost of a write down at £145 million ($186 million). A longer investigation then massively revised the actual cost of the write down at £530 million ($680 million), and the whole mess was a significant factor in the departure of then-CEO Gavin Patterson. (See Dodgy Italian Job Savages BT Earnings, Share Price Tanks and BT's Patterson Feels Italian Heat.)
Meanwhile, Facebook 's European woes continue, with news that Germany's Federal Cartel Office plans to force the social media behemoth to stop gathering certain types of data on users -- particularly that data acquired from third-party apps using Facebook's platform. As Reuters reports, citing Germany newspaper Bild am Sonntag, Facebook disputes the antitrust watchdog's findings, maintaining it has done nothing wrong.
Sweden's Telia has joined forces with Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT), Atomico, Bonnier and others to launch an AI Sustainability Center in Stockholm, which will look at ways of broadening the use of artificial intelligence while observing ethical and societal concerns. Established companies, startups, regulators, academia and policymakers are all expected to have input into the project.