Euronews: French 4G Auction Rules Under Fire

Iliad (Euronext: ILD), Robin Hood and Maroc Telecom rub shoulders in Friday's run through the EMEA telecom headlines.

  • French broadband provider Iliad, which operates under the Free brand, is mounting a legal challenge to the terms of France's forthcoming 4G mobile spectrum auction, reports Global Telecoms Business, citing Le Figaro. Iliad is worried that the auction will favor its bigger rivals, such as SFR and Orange (NYSE: FTE). (See Iliad Reports Q1 and EC Dismisses French 3G Operator Complaints.)

  • The so-called "Robin Hood tax" on energy companies being proposed by the cash-strapped Italian government will not, as was originally feared, be extended to the telecom sector, reports Reuters, citing our old friend, a "source close to the matter." Hungary's telcos were hit hard by a similar tax introduced in 2010. (See Euronews: Oct. 18.)

  • The Zambian government is hoping to boost the rollout of mobile networks to rural areas through its decision to scrap the tax on imports of telecom equipment by mobile operators, reports IT Web. The telecom market in Zambia is dominated by Mobile Telephone Networks (MTN) , Bharti Airtel Ltd. (Mumbai: BHARTIARTL) and Zamtel Telecommunications Company Ltd. (See AsiaWatch: Indian Telcos Look to Africa.)

  • Unions representing workers at Vivendi -owned Maroc Telecom have called off the strikes that had been planned for next week, reports Reuters. Workers at the former state monopoly are after more money. (See Euronews: BSkyB Rapped Over Movie Rights and Pyramid: Three's a Crowd in Morocco.)

  • A summit convened by the U.K. government in response to the country's recent riots did not result in a demand for new powers to close down social networking sites, reports the BBC. Representatives from Facebook , Twitter Inc. and BlackBerry were summoned to the meeting, following the discovery that their services (in RIM's case BlackBerry Messaging) had played a significant part in the planning of the riots. (See Euronews: RIM Acts in Wake of UK Riots and Euronews: Galaxy Tab Ban Lifted, for Now.)

  • Elsewhere in EMEA:

    Monday is a public holiday in the U.K. so Euronews will be taking the day off to eat ice creams in the rain. See you all on Tuesday for more EMEA morsels.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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