Vodafone, Swisscom and BT start the week in today's EMEA news roundup.
A previously unreported settlement between Vodafone Group plc (NYSE: VOD) and the UK tax authorities has come to light, courtesy of The Guardian. According to the report, accounts filed by Vodafone in 2009 reveal that the company reached an agreement with the authorities over disputed Irish tax returns, related to its earlier reclaiming of €67 million (US$89.3 million) in tax from the Irish government. The actual size of the settlement has not been revealed. Vodafone has been one of the prime targets of anti-tax avoidance campaigners in the UK, with stores picketed on several occasions. (See Euronews: Vodafone Talks Tough on Tax.)
Swisscom AG (NYSE: SCM) is claiming the Swiss population is second only to Sweden in terms of the European rankings of LTE usage, with around half a million of its customers using the technology. (See Swisscom Boasts Broad 4G Coverage , Euronews: Swisscom Boasts LTE Roaming and Swisscom Trumpets LTE Progress.)
French tower operator TDF has failed to get the €4 billion ($5.32 billion) asking price for its domestic unit, reports Reuters. TDF is owned by a number of financial institutions.
BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) had some technical problems at the launch of its much vaunted premium TV sport offering, with "hundreds" of disgruntled users tweeting of their inability to log in to its first Premier League match. You'd have thought they'd be happy not to have to watch Liverpool play Stoke City and then watch Michael Owen talking about it. (See BT's Got Balls.)
— Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading