Euronews: $1B M&A Deal Raises Concerns

JSC Ukrtelecom, Everything Everywhere Ltd. (EE) and Telecom Italia SpA loom large in today's trawl of the EMEA telecom headlines.

  • Ukrtelecom, Ukraine's fixed-line monopoly operator, is being bought by Rinat Akhmetov, the country's richest man, for an estimated US$1 billion, reports the Financial Times. The planned acquisition, by Akhmetov's SCM group, has raised concerns that the multi-billionaire will wield too much power over the former Soviet state's economy.

  • Everything Everywhere, the U.K. mobile operator, is looking to capitalize on its 4G head start by introducing the U.K.'s first shared 4G data plans and extending 4G availability to prepaid subscribers. More than 500,000 customers have signed up for 4G since its launch seven months ago, says the operator. (See Euronews: 4G Gives EE a Capital Edge.)

  • There's still no decision on the possible merger between Telecom Italia and Hutchison 3G Italy, reports Reuters. Telecom Italia's board announced Wednesday that the plan had been put on the back-burner. (See Euronews: T Italia Spins Off Fixed-Line Unit.)

  • Investors in Saudi Integrated Telecom Co (SITC), a startup that failed to fly, have been protesting at the rulers' decision to liquidate the company, reports Reuters.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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