Euronews: August 18

9:05 AM -- Telekom Austria AG (NYSE: TKA; Vienna: TKA), Vivacom , Orange (NYSE: FTE), and Manchester United are just some of the names featuring in today's roundup of European news snippets.
  • Telekom Austria's first-half results saw EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, deprecation, and amorality) fall by 8.3 percent year-on-year, with fierce competition and lower termination rates among the factors being blamed for the decline. The operator will be hoping that this year's corporate restructuring will get things on a more even keel. (See Telekom Austria Reports H1 and Telekom Austria Merges Fixed, Mobile Units.)

  • In the Netherlands, a court has overturned the decision by OPTA , the country's post and telecom regulator, to open up the cable market, reports Reuters. OPTA had demanded that the two biggest Dutch cable firms, UPC Broadband and Ziggo B.V. , allow rivals access to their networks.

  • A couple of Euronews stories now, both of them effectively made in Hong Kong... First, PCCW Ltd. (NYSE: PCW; Hong Kong: 0008), the telco based in what is now known, rather prosaically, as a "Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China," has apparently abandoned its plans to invest in Bulgaria's biggest -- and debt-laden -- telco, Vivacom, reports Novinite, citing Bloomberg...

  • ...and, second, much-despised UK soccer behemoth, Manchester United, has signed up PCCW as the official broadcaster of the club's MUTV channel in Hong Kong for the next three years, reports AFP. Games will be available to view on PCCW's online platform and on its mobile phones.

  • The European Commission is to appeal a ruling by the European General Court that €9 billion (US$11.6 billion) of support offered by the French government to France Telecom in 2002 can't be considered illegal state aid, reports Cellular News. The telco actually declined the generous offer.

  • After feeling the need to issue a profits warning last month, Cable & Wireless Worldwide plc (London: CW), which was formed earlier this year when the old C&W was divided in two, now has a reason to be cheerful. It has just won a five-year contract to connect 32 distribution sites and offices in the UK and Hong Kong for Next, the (mainly) fashion retailer. (See Next Big Thing for C&W Worldwide and Mixed EuroFortunes.)
  • Spain is the latest proud nation to be become more than a little disgruntled with Google (Nasdaq: GOOG)'s Street View snooper vans. As the BBC reports, the country is to launch an investigation into the "accidental" collection of potentially sensitive data from unsecured WiFi networks by the Street View vehicles, an accident that has now happened in more than 30 countries. (See Want Privacy? and Euronews: August 11.)

    — Paul Rainford, freelance editor, special to Light Reading

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