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Euronews: TeliaSonera Denies Bribery

Telia Company , Mobile TeleSystems OJSC (MTS) (NYSE: MBT) and VimpelCom Ltd. (NYSE: VIP) lead the charge in today's assault on the EMEA telecom headlines.

  • Lars Nyberg, the CEO of Sweden's TeliaSonera, is steadfastly denying charges of bribery and involvement with money laundering following an investigation into the operator's purchase of a 3G license in Uzbekistan by a Swedish TV program, which broadcast its findings on Wednesday. According to Reuters, TeliaSonera has already faced flak for allowing authorities in Azerbaijan, Belarus and Uzbekistan to use its networks for monitoring dissident activities.

  • The European Commission has decided it does not yet have enough evidence to pursue its planned anti-subsidy case against Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. and ZTE Corp. (Shenzhen: 000063; Hong Kong: 0763), according to a report in the Financial Times (subscription required). The Commission had earlier expressed its belief that the two Chinese vendors had been receiving illegal state subsidies, allowing them to undercut European rivals. (See Euronews: China Warns EU Over Protectionism and Euronews: EC Sharpens Knives Over Huawei, ZTE.)

  • Liberty Global Inc. (Nasdaq: LBTY) is looking to buy the 49.6 percent share of Belgian cable operator Telenet that it doesn't already own in a deal valued at €1.96 billion ($2.54 billion). The move, if successful, would add further to Liberty Global's European assets, which the company bolstered last year with the acquisition of Germany's Kabel BW. (See Liberty Global Bids for Telenet Total Ownership, Liberty Closes Kabel BW Buy and Liberty Global Scoops Up KBW for $4.5B.)

  • The U.K. government has announced how it plans to share the £114 million ($184 million) in funding pledged to 10 British cities to accelerate the rollout of high-speed broadband. The BBC reveals that London gets the most, with £25 million ($40.5 million), while the others have to make do with between £7 million ($11.3 million) and £14 million ($22.6 million). (See UK Government Awards Urban Broadband Funds , Great Britain? I Don't Think So, ISPs Shamed by UK Broadband Speed Tests and Broadband Britain: The Wait Goes On.)

  • Two of Russia's leading mobile operators, MTS and VimpelCom, are considering setting up a joint venture to operate phone masts, reports Reuters. It is thought other partners could also be in on the project, but the two operators declined to name names. (See Euronews: Russians Turn On LTE TDD With NSN , Russian Into LTE TDD and Russian Into LTE.)

  • Joaquin Almunia, vice president of the European Commission and the man in charge of competition matters there, has expressed doubts about whether Hutchison 3G Austria GmbH will be able to do enough to placate the regulators over its €1.3 billion (US$1.7 billion) bid for rival Orange Austria Telecommunication GmbH. , reports Reuters.

  • Following Adobe Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: ADBE)'s decision to withdraw its Flash player plug-in for Android, the British Broadcasting Corp. (BBC) is to launch a new media player for those who want to stream its iPlayer catch-up service on Android devices, reports the BBC's own website.

    And in other news:



    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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