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Euronews: Slim Abandons KPN Bid

Paul Rainford
10/17/2013

Also in today's EMEA roundup: EE boss says 4G investment could be cut; eircom turns on IPTV; mobile data boosts TeliaSonera.

  • Carlos Slim, the billionaire owner of América Móvil S.A. de C.V. , has abandoned -- for the time being at least -- his $9.5 billion bid to take control of KPN Telecom NV (NYSE: KPN), reports Reuters. Slim has been thwarted in his ambitions to increase his near-30 percent stake in the operator by a foundation associated with KPN, which exercised an option to award itself around 50 percent of the voting stock. KPN CEO Eelco Blok, however, has not ruled out re-starting talks with the Mexican tycoon. (See Euronews: KPN Foundation Blocks Slim's Bid and Euronews: Slim Makes Move on KPN.)

  • EE boss Olaf Swantee isn't happy: He's been telling the Financial Times (subscription required) that if proposals by UK regulator Ofcom to massively increase some spectrum license fees get the green light, his company would have to cut its investment in 4G infrastructure development. This could put the brakes on EE's plan to launch what it describes as the UK's first commercially available 4G home broadband service, which, as The Guardian reports, will initially be available in a remote corner of the northern English county of Cumbria from November 11. (See Q&A: EE Evolves Its 4G LTE Strategy.)

  • Irish incumbent eir has flicked the switch on its new IPTV service, eVision, which will be available to those of its customers who subscribe to eFibre, the company's high-speed fiber broadband service. The service will cost from €10 (US$13) a month. Full details are available in this press release.

  • Nordic operator Telia Company , which has a strong presence in Eurasian markets, has reported third-quarter net income up 15.1 percent year-on-year to 4.6 billion Swedish kroner ($714 million). In a statement, Johan Dennelind, the recently appointed chairman and CEO, attributed much of the growth to new mobile-data pricing models.

  • The higher price it had to pay for premium soccer content hit fiscal first-quarter profits at UK satellite broadcaster Sky . Profit before tax for the three months to September 30 reached £245 million ($393 million), compared with £288 million ($462 million) a year earlier. The increase in the cost of Premier League soccer rights -- from £540 million ($867 million) a year to £760 million ($1.2 billion) a year -- was partly fuelled by the entry of BT into the UK's sports pay-TV sector. (See BT's Got Balls.)

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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    macster
    macster
    10/21/2013 | 7:44:26 PM
    Re: Football follies
    In Sky's case, the cost is essentially amortised over basic Sky sub + Sports package + etc. You have people like me, spending very little time in the UK, but still have the full package of 80+ quid a month.

    Would love to know how BT Sport is doing though. I understand it's given free if you just get BT Broadband? Would love to know figures there.
    mendyk
    mendyk
    10/17/2013 | 9:23:40 AM
    Football follies
    $1.2 billion for EPL -- sorry, BPL -- rights works out to more than $3.1 million per match (assuming the rights cover every single contest, including both Stoke v. Hull snoozers). Must be a struggle to turn a profit on that.
    mendyk
    mendyk
    10/17/2013 | 9:18:18 AM
    Re: Was that wise?
    Whine seems to be in favor among CEOs this season. Poor guys must be under a lot of pressure or something.
    Ray@LR
    [email protected]
    10/17/2013 | 8:52:54 AM
    Was that wise?
    I do wonder if it's wise for operators such as EE to bring their complainst about regulators out into the open and essentially issue a threat about cutting capex.

    I'm not saying Ofcom is right or that th fees should go up but it's counterproductive, in my view, to be whining about it to the financial media. 
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