Mergers & acquisitions

Euronews: iPhone 5 Hits Europe

Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL), BlackBerry , Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) and Carlos Slim are on board for today's cruise through the EMEA telecom news headlines.

  • Praise the Lord and pass your sales chit! The iPhone 5 has landed in select parts of Europe (namely the UK, France and Germany), with the usual queues forming in the usual places. Hovering above the hullabaloo was the dark cloud of Apple's new Maps service fiasco, with reports of entire cities disappearing or being moved by the Google Maps replacement. And in case you're wondering, the first person in the world to own an iPhone 5 was this bloke. Maybe Apple should have him stuffed? (See Apple iPhone 5: What Happened & What Didn't , iPhone 5 Arrives With 4G LTE and Euronews: iPhone 5 Spells Euro 4G Mayhem.)

  • What would make today an even better one for Apple? Well, if one of its main rivals had a public relations disaster, that would help. Step forward RIM, which announced at about 10am U.K. time (5am Eastern) on Twitter that "some users in Europe, Middle East & Africa are experiencing issues with their BlackBerry service... We are investigating and apologise for any inconvenience." Nearly three hours later the company issued a statement saying: "Our apologies to any customers impacted by the BlackBerry service issue today. We can confirm that services have been restored and are now operating normally." RIM suffered a major service outage in October last year that severely dented its reputation and which appears to have contributed to its recent problems, so today's hitches are only likely to make things worse for the already beleaguered handset firm. (See RIM's Three-Day Service Disruption Spreads and More Job Cuts at RIM.)

  • Is Nokia's turnaround plan succeeding? Many investors clearly don't think so, as short-selling of Nokia stock -- where investors make money if the shares go down -- is rife, according to the Financial Times. Could be a tough winter ahead for Nokia, and not just because it's based in Finland. (See Euronews: Market Ponders Nokia's Future, Euronews: It's Make or Break for Nokia (Again), LR Reader Poll: Nokia's Takeover 'Joke' and Euronews: Nokia Loses $1.9B in Q2.)

  • Austrian financial regulators are looking closely at whether Mexican telecom tycoon Carlos Slim should be allowed to take a major stake in Telekom Austria AG (NYSE: TKA; Vienna: TKA), according to a report on Reuters. The fact that Telekom Austria has a banking subsidiary means that it will face extra scrutiny. (See Euronews: Slim Takes a Breather, Euronews: Slim's Stealthy Expansion and Slim's Dutch Drama .)

  • The European Commission 's vice president and competition supremo Joaquin Almunia has made a plea for a little more peace, love and understanding between rivals in the telecom patents space. (Yes, he means YOU!, Apple, Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) and Samsung Corp. .) "It is high time they look for negotiated solutions -- I am tempted to call them 'peace talks' -- that would put an end to the patent wars," said the optimistic commissioner. (See Euronews: EC Probes Samsung on Patents and Making Sense of the Handset Patent Plays.)

  • If you needed proof that things were dire in Spain on the telecom front, here it is: Telecom revenues there fell 8.6 percent in the second quarter year-on-year, according to figures from national regulator CMT, cited by Telecompaper. More details can be found on CMT's blog (in Spanish).

    And in other news:

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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