Eurobites: MTN in talks with Telkom over possible takeover

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Proximus rolls out EV charging stations; Amazon tries to placate European Commission over data practices; Hyperoptic hits 100k new-builds.

  • South African operator MTN has confirmed that it is in talks with smaller, partly state-owned rival Telkom regarding a possible takeover. In a stock exchange announcement, MTN said: "Discussions are at an early stage and there is no certainty that the Transaction will be consummated." The deal, if it went ahead, would combine South Africa's second- and third-largest telcos, behind market leader Vodacom. Reuters reported that Telkom's shares soared nearly 30% in the wake of the announcement, while MTN rose nearly 5%. According to statistics from market research company Omdia (a sister company to Light Reading), at the end of March 2022 MTN controlled almost 30% of the South African market and Telkom almost 15%, while Vodacom led the way with almost 45% market share.

    (Source: Reuters/Alamy Stock Photo)
    (Source: Reuters/Alamy Stock Photo)

  • Belgian operator Proximus is clearly keen to get a slice of the electric vehicle action and, following a pilot in the town of Mechelen, it now intends to provide at least 15,000 additional EV charging points by 2028. According to Proximus, the ongoing rollout of fiber has freed up space in the street cabinets, which can be easily converted into charging points as electricity is already present. An added bonus is that the cabinets are often located in convenient city centre locations, allowing those who cannot charge at home to do so when out and about. The installation of this kind of charging point will shortly begin in Oudenaarde, with five such stations planned there. Proximus also plans to start installing charging stations in "semi-public" and business-related spaces, particularly in parking lots, offering charging-as-a-service to companies, as well as to hospitals, sports clubs, cultural centers and so on.

  • The European Commission is seeking feedback on proposals put forward by Amazon that the e-commerce giant hopes will address competition concerns surrounding its use of data hoovered up from independent sellers who advertise their goods on Amazon's platform and the way in which its Buy Box and Prime programs appear to favor Amazon's own retail business. Amazon says that it now "commits to refrain from using non-public data relating to, or derived from, the activities of independent sellers on its marketplace, for its retail business that competes with those sellers," while also pledging to be non-discriminatory in the way that it operates Buy Box and Prime. All those who want to have a say on Amazon's placatory proposals have until September 9 to do so.

  • UK altnet Hyperoptic has reached its latest rollout milestone: 100,000 new-build homes connected to its full-fiber network. It says it also has agreements in place to connect a further 100,000 new-build properties over the next twelve months. Hyperoptic now lays claim to partnerships with over 250 developers across the UK, including housebuilding heavyweights Barratt Developments and Bellway Homes.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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