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Mergers & acquisitions

Euronews: April 4

Vodafone Group plc (NYSE: VOD), Vivendi , Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) and ZTE Corp. (Shenzhen: 000063; Hong Kong: 0763) lead the charge in today's telecom headlines from the EMEA region.

  • Mobile giant Vodafone is continuing its policy of shedding its minority interests by selling its 44 percent take in French operator SFR for €7.75 billion (US$11 billion) to media conglomerate Vivendi. (See Vodafone Sells SFR Stake for $11B and Vodafone Updates Strategy, Profit Outlook.)

  • The latest addition to the lengthening list of telecom patent disputes sees Swedish networking equipment vendor Ericsson suing its Chinese rival ZTE in the U.K., Germany and Italy for alleged infringements of its GSM and WCDMA intellectual property. ZTE hit back with a statement, saying, "We sincerely regret that Ericsson has unilaterally broken down the ongoing negotiations between the two parties." This one will run and run. (See Ericsson Sues ZTE Over IPR Theft.)

  • France Telecom and Etisalat may have already pulled out, but Saudi Telecom Co. (STC) has decided to bid for the third mobile license in Syria, the auction of which enters its final phase on April 27, reports Reuters. Not that a mobile license is much use at the moment in Syria, as weekend reports suggest that all networks are currently down as a result of the ongoing disturbances there. (See Euronews: March 30.)

  • Staff at troubled Irish incumbent eir have voted in favor of a recovery package that will see pay cuts of 10 percent and more than 1,000 job cuts, reports the Irish Times.

    Elsehwhere in the EMEA region:



    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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