Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Liberty Global increases stake in ITV; Orange and SFR get the green light on 1800MHz; "Top Gear" trio head for Amazon Prime.
Colt Technology Services Group Ltd , which last month announced it would quit the IT services market, has posted half-year revenues up 2.6% year-on-year to €790.8 million (US$867.7 million) and EBITDA up 7.6% to €156.4 million ($171.6 million). The restructuring plan, which will see Colt focus on what it sees as its core business -- network, voice and data center services -- accounted for €128.4 million ($140.9 million) of exceptional expenses in the latest set of figures. (See Colt to Jettison Ailing IT Business.)
In a move that shows yet again that content is at the forefront of operators' concerns when it comes to video services, Liberty Global Inc. (Nasdaq: LBTY) has increased its stake in UK commercial broadcaster ITV from 6.4% to 9.9%, reports the Daily Telegraph. This, despite the protestations of Liberty boss John Malone to the contrary, will renew speculation that Liberty has ITV in its sights as a takeover target.
French mobile rivals Orange (NYSE: FTE) and SFR have been given the go-ahead by regulator Arcep to use the 1800MHz band for 4G services, starting May 25, 2016. For their part of the deal, however, the two operators must relinquish "a portion" of their frequencies by that date.
Accounting fun and games continue at Saudi Arabia's Etihad Etisalat Co. (Mobily) , which, as Reuters reports, has restated its results for the last 27 months, shrinking total profits over the period by nearly 1.76 billion riyals ($470 million) in a bid to hack its way out of an accounting scandal in which it has been entangled.
Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) has rejected a directive from France's data protection regulator that it should apply the "right to be forgotten" principle to search listings on not just the French version of Google (google.fr) but on the global version (google.com) as well. "This is a troubling development that risks serious chilling effects on the web," claims Google in its blog post.
Oh those crazy "Top Gear" guys -- dontcha just love 'em? Misogyny, casual racism, ill-fitting stone-washed jeans -- what's not to like? Petrolheads worldwide will be squirting screenwash over the news that the three presenters, who left the BBC motoring show following lead presenter Jeremy Clarkson's decision to punch the show's producer over unsatisfactory catering arrangments, are to resurface on Amazon's Prime TV offering with a new show. According to the BBC, Clarkson said: "I feel like I've climbed out of a biplane and into a spaceship." And possibly heading for a black hole in terms of viewing figures.
— Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading