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Europe

Euronews: July 28

9:10 AM -- Old friends Telefónica SA (NYSE: TEF), Portugal Telecom SGPS SA (NYSE: PT), Vodafone Group plc (NYSE: VOD), and Virgin Media Inc. (Nasdaq: VMED) join us on the European telecom news sofa today.

  • Praise the Lord and pass the maracas -- it seems that Telefónica has finally clinched the deal to buy Portugal Telecom's share in Brazilian operator Vivo Participacoes SA . An offer of €7.5 billion (US$9.7 billion) appears to have done the trick. (See Viva La Vivo Deal.)

  • All right, PT might have had to relinquish its slice of Vivo, but at least it has found someone to expand its network back home. Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) is the one on the receiving end of a three-year deal. (See Portugal Telecom Picks AlcaLu.)

  • In the UK, cellular-news reports that regulator Ofcom is to stop dithering and auction off radio spectrum in the 2.6GHz and 800MHz bands "as soon as possible", which in this case means by the end of 2011. All that lovely lolly should do wonders for the national debt...

  • The name's Bond. Sir John Bond... Vodafone's knight-of-the-realm chairman and his commoner deputy John Buchanan survived a threatened shareholder revolt at yesterday's annual general meeting of the global mobile operator in London. Sir John's re-election received the backing of 93.5 percent of shareholders, reports The Daily Telegraph, putting paid to the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan's, er, plan to give him the elbow. (See Euronews: July 22.)

  • Things are looking up for UK cable operator Virgin Media, which added 9,100 new customers in the second quarter, compared to losing 27,800 accounts in the same period last year. Operating income soared to £80 million ($125 million), up from £9 million ($14 million). (See Virgin Media Reports Q2 and Virgin Trials FTTH.)

  • In a rather disturbing and dirty turn of events, respected UK consumer organization Which? has produced a piece of research that says, in basic terms, mobile phones are "dirtier than toilet handles," reports The Daily Telegraph, name-checking "faecal coliforms," whatever they are. The message is: If you're thinking of having a good old suck on your pal's mobile, don't.

    — Paul Rainford, freelance editor, special to Light Reading

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