Orange (NYSE: FTE), Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) and Yota dominate proceedings in today's trot through the EMEA telecoms headlines.
Some bad news for France Telecom this morning: The European Court of Justice has upheld a 2004 European Commission ruling that the operator received illegal state aid between 1994 and 2002. And now it's payback time. The amount to be recovered is thought to lie somewhere between €798 million (US$1.06 billion) and €1.14 billion ($1.52 billion), plus interest. (See France Telecom in Scrap Over State Aid.)
The Financial Timesreports that Nokia is to sell Vertu , its "blingphone" subsidiary that specializes in serving the niche -- and frankly more-money-than-sense -- market for "handmade" mobiles containing various shards of precious metals/stones and costing thousands of pounds. (See The Vertu Vanishes and Paltrow's Massive Wedge.)
Navx , a France-based provider of "geolocalized" content for smartphones and GPS systems, is suing Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) in the Paris Commercial Court for €23 million ($30.7 million) in damages for what it sees as the search behemoth's abuse of its dominant position. The case centers on how Google's pay-per-click Adwords system showed -- or failed to show -- Navx's advertisements. (See Navx Seeks €23M in Damages From Google.)