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Euronews: April 18

Orange (NYSE: FTE), Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT) and Interoute Communications Ltd. are just some of the big beasts roaming today's jungle of news from the EMEA region.

  • What next? A full-blown merger? Euro-giants France Telecom and Deutsche Telekom have moved even closer together and announced a procurement joint venture that sees them clubbing together to buy network gear, service platforms, and the like more cheaply. The pair hope to save about €1.3 billion (US$1.9 billion) annually after three years. (See DT & FT Deepen Ties.)

  • Happy days for next-generation network owner/operator Interoute, which has revealed it has turned a net profit for the first time in its history, largely thanks to demand for its Unified ICT enterprise services and its pan-European cloud service delivery network. Separately, it has also struck a deal with submarine network Seacom Ltd. for the design, deployment and operation of nine land-based Internet access points that connect the Seacom subsea cable to the broadband fiber networks of East and South Africa. (See Interoute Boasts Profitable 2010, Ethernet Europe: Interoute's 10G Explosion and Interoute Looks Tasty.)

  • The European Commission is expected to launch a major investigation into data traffic managament practices Tuesday, according to the Financial Times (subscription required). The move has been partly prompted by the imminent (May 25) introduction of new transparency rules on traffic management policies. (See Net Neutrality: EU vs. US and EC Reports on Net Neutrality.)

  • Reduced to clear! Russian retailers have knocked around $100 off the price of Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL)'s iPhone 4, reports Ria Novosti. It's thought a combination of the Russian holiday season kicking in and the prospect of the iPhone 5 appearing in the fall has prompted the reduction.

  • Just as the VimpelCom Ltd. (NYSE: VIP)/Orascom Telecom deal saga seemed to be drawing to a close, Reuters reports that another chapter has started, with Russian group Altimo saying it wants to scrap its shareholder agreement with Norway's Telenor Group (Nasdaq: TELN) in Vimpelcom. Oh, those Russians...

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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