Eurobites: Telefónica, Deutsche Telekom Extend Backhaul Deal in Germany

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Is BT in talks with Apple over TV deal? Mobily punished for not employing enough Saudis; class action against Google blocked in UK.

  • Telefónica Deutschland GmbH is extending its existing backhaul deal with Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT), the two companies agreeing to connect at least 5,000 Telefónica Deutschland mobile basestations to Deutsche Telekom's fiber network "in the long term." The partnership is being pitched as providing a firm foundation for the upgrading of the two operators' current 3G and 4G antennas to 5G.

  • BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) is in talks with Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) over a deal that would see the UK incumbent's EE subsidiary become a distributor of Apple TV set-top boxes, according to the Telegraph. The report says that EE broadband customers would be offered the boxes pre-loaded with apps to deliver BT Sport and channels from other broadcasters -- a move that would echo a similar deal that Apple already has in place with Salt SA , a Swiss provider of mobile and pay-TV services.

  • Etihad Etisalat Co. (Mobily) has had the sale of its prepaid and postpaid packages suspended by Saudi regulators for failing to employ enough Saudi nationals in executive roles. As Bloomberg reports, shares in Mobily fell 4.5% in the wake of the news, but have since recovered slightly. The government's program to encourage the "Saudization" of jobs has been introduced to tackle the problem of unemployment among Saudi nationals, which is at its highest level in more than a decade, adds the report.

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  • The UK's high court has decided to block a class action against Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) relating to claims that it unlawfully collected personal data from more than 4 million iPhones, the Guardian reports. Specifically, the litigation claimed that Google bypassed privacy settings on iPhones between August 2011 and February 2012 and sorted the collected data into advertiser-friendly categories such as "football lovers" and "current affairs enthusiasts."

  • Newly released accounts show that Facebook 's UK tax bill tripled in 2017, to what some might consider the less-than-giddy heights of £15.7 million (US$20.5 million). As the BBC reports, an overhaul of the company's tax structure was largely responsible for the increase, as its stated profits in 2017 rose by just £4 million ($5.2 million) year-on-year, from £58.4 million ($76.3 million to £62.7 million ($81.9 million). (See Eurobites: EU Wants Tax Transparency From Tech Titans.)

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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