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Euronews: Market Ponders Nokia's Future

Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK), Telekom Austria AG (NYSE: TKA; Vienna: TKA), Vodafone Group plc (NYSE: VOD), Telefónica SA (NYSE: TEF), Nokia Networks , BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA), Sky and Skype Ltd. are some of the names in the frame in this Friday roundup of news from the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region.

  • Market-watchers are turning their attentions to Nokia's potential future following the company's massive restructuring announcement. Nokia's shares lost nearly 18 percent of their value on the Helsinki stock exchange Thursday, giving the company a market value of €6.95 billion (US$8.77 billion). This Bloomberg report identifies Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) and potentially even private equity firms as potential vultures that might consider a takeover bid. Light Reading's poll shows a merger with Microsoft as the most anticipated outcome, though early indications show that nearly a quarter of respondents don't expect Nokia to survive the next few years at all. (See Nokia Poll: Microsoft Merger Expected and Nokia Cuts 10,000 Jobs, Restructures.)

  • Carlos Slim's América Móvil S.A. de C.V. is to increase its stake in Telekom Austria by about 21 percent, taking its total holding to about 23 percent. "This acquisition positions AMX [América Móvil] as a long-term strategic partner of Telekom Austria. It is part of AMX geographic diversification strategy and provides an attractive presence in Central and Eastern Europe," stated the Latin American giant in this press release. No price was revealed, but this Bloomberg article suggests the 21 percent stake would currently be worth about €748 million ($943 million). As part of that stated international expansion strategy, América Móvil is also looking to take a stake in Dutch carrier KPN Telecom NV (NYSE: KPN), which isn't keen on the proposed investment. América Móvil, though, is building its shareholding piece by piece and currently owns a 8.12 percent stake in the Dutch operator. (See Euronews: Slim Makes His Move on KPN and Euronews: Telcos Should Eat Each Other.)

  • Meanwhile, Telefónica is taking a €100 million ($126 million) stake in Spanish media group Prisa, a move that this Reuters report suggests is partly prompted by a desire to thwart any intentions Carlos Slim might have to boost his holdings in the company.

  • Vodafone's Global Enterprise unit has become the first overseas mobile provider to be granted U.S. Government supplier status under GSA Schedule 70 and will be listed as an approved supplier to provide mobile voice, data and machine to machine (M2M) services to the U.S. Government in eight European countries -- Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal and the U.K.

  • NSN and U.K. mobile operator EE have formed a global partnership based around the development of interactive vending machines that could boost M2M revenues for both parties. (See NSN, Everything Everywhere Get Vending.)

  • The share prices of U.K. rivals BT and BSkyB dipped Thursday after both companies were deemed to have overpaid for the rights to broadcast English Premiership soccer games in the coming years, reports Bloomberg.

  • The battle to take a controlling stake in French video technology specialist Technicolor (Euronext Paris: TCH; NYSE: TCH) has intensified further, with Vector Capital increasing its offer to up to €191 million ($241 million). Vector's rival bidder, JP.MorganChase , currently has an offer worth up to €158 million ($199 million) that has been recommended to shareholders by the Technicolor board. The vendor's shareholders will examine the various options at a meeting on June 20. (See Euronews: Investors Fight Over Technicolor.)

  • Skype and other VoIP services have been criminalized in Ethiopia, with sentences in the African country of up to eight years for anyone using an IP voice service, according to OPride.

    — Ray Le Maistre, International Managing Editor, Light Reading

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