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Eurobites: BT in Talks to Buy O2

Paul Rainford
11/24/2014

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: BT's rivals get onto Ofcom; Netflix sued in France; T-Systems orchestrates data from the cloud.

  • BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) has confirmed that it is in preliminary talks about a possible acquisition of Telefónica UK Ltd. (O2), Telefónica's UK subsidiary, reports Bloomberg. BT also admitted it was talking to another, unnamed operator about a similar deal and the Financial Times has been told that this operator was EE , the Orange (NYSE: FTE)/T-Mobile (UK) joint venture. If BT did buy O2, it would be reversing a 2001 demerger, when it spun off its mobile business, then known as BT Cellnet, in what has become labelled as one of the biggest strategic mistakes in corporate history. BT intends to return to the mobile fray in 2015, as it sees its future as a quad-play provider in an increasingly converged market. (See Euronews: BT's Back in Wireless and BT Embraces Small Cells for Mobile Push.)

  • Elsewhere on the BT front, the UK Competitive Telecommunications Association (UKCTA) has called on regulator Ofcom to open up BT's passive infrastructure to all providers so that enterprise users get a better broadband service. UKCTA members include Vodafone Group plc (NYSE: VOD), Sky , Virgin Media Inc. (Nasdaq: VMED) and TalkTalk .

  • OTT streaming giant Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX) is being sued in France for not complying with French consumer law, reports Broadband TV News. The CLVC says its case rests on what it describes as "malicious and illegal clauses" contained in Netflix contracts. (See Eurobites: Could Netflix Crash Europe's Networks?)

  • T-Systems International GmbH , Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT)'s enterprise IT subsidiary, has joined forces with Informatica Corp. (Nasdaq: INFA) to offer cloud-based data orchestration in Germany. The service, says the company, enables customers to integrate data and applications from all sources, including those in public or private clouds or in "on-premise environments". Sadly though, this means another addition to the out-of-control lexicon of cloud-based buzz-phrases: Readers, say hello to DOaaS (data orchestration-as-a service).

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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    nasimson
    nasimson
    11/27/2014 | 10:48:03 PM
    Creativity, Innovation & Innovative Business Model thats disruptive.
    > OTT streaming giant Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX) is being sued in France for
    > not complying with French consumer law,

    Creativity is one thing. Innovation is another. Innovative business model is a strange animal. Replicating the innovative busienss model in other geographies where its bound to be disruptive attracts all sorts of lawy suits. Innovation does not happen in court rooms. Can innovation be defended in court rooms. Aero's examples tell us it is not the case. However there are countless other examples.
    kq4ym
    kq4ym
    11/25/2014 | 1:01:04 PM
    Malicious Netflix?
     Netflix and others seem to be easy targets in Europe.  Citing "malicious and illegal clauses" contained in Netflix contracts, one wonders if there must be a better way to do international business. The complexity of meeting a hodge podge of regulations in different regions must keep at least the attorneys fully employed and happy.
    Ray@LR
    [email protected]
    11/24/2014 | 9:49:09 AM
    Will the Cellnet name be revived?
    Should BT end up buying O2 UK from Telefonica, that would be a remarkable story.

    It would also put BT's new relatiosnhip with EE under the spotlight, though it seems that is BT's other M&A option.

    None of these assets will come cheap though... 
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