Also in today's EMEA roundup: Interoute profits up; Turkey defends Twitter ban; Huawei in Zambia; why Vodafone was nearly Vodaphone.
Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK)'s sale of its handsets division to Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) has been delayed until at least next month, as Asian antitrust regulators take a closer look at the deal, reports Bloomberg. The concerns of rival, Asia-based phone makers expressed to Chinese authorities are thought to be a factor in the delay, but both Nokia and Microsoft are understandably keen to present the news as a temporary hitch that will not derail the deal. (See Euronews: Nokia's Handsets Go Out With a Whimper, Euronews: Nokia/Microsoft Deal Wins EC Approval, and Nokia: It's Really Happening.)
Pan-European communications and cloud services provider Interoute saw its full-year EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization) grow by 16% to €91 million (US$125 million) in 2013 from revenues of €417 million $575 million), up 2% from the previous year.
The Turkish government has been defending its Twitter ban, reports the BBC, with the country's finance minister claiming that the authorities had asked Twitter on "a number of occasions to remove some content on the back of court orders," but that the social media platform had refused to comply.
Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. has been named as the GSM-R infrastructure provider for Zambia Railways in a deal worth $51 million to the Chinese vendor. Huawei will work with train manufacturer Bombardier to implement a new signalling system that should improve the safety and increase the capacity of the railway network.
Russia's VimpelCom Ltd. (NYSE: VIP) has appointed Yogesh Malik its new CTO. Malik was previously CEO of Uninor , the Indian mobile subsidiary owned by Telenor Group (Nasdaq: TELN), which itself holds a major stake in VimpelCom.
The weekend saw the 30th anniversary of the launch of the Vodafone brand -- and a press release marking the milestone reveals that it was so very nearly "Vodaphone." Apparently, the then CEO of Racal Electronics, Sir Gerry Whent, initially rejected the suggestion (from ad agency Saatchi & Saatchi) but he eventually relented, reputedly saying "you can have your flipping 'f' as well."
— Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading