Also in today's EMEA regional snapshot: Moody's downgrades KPN; hints of Spotify IPO; EE 4G rolls on.
The European Commission has decided to soften its stance towards Chinese telecom equipment vendors, dropping its proposed anti-dumping case, reports Reuters. It has, however, not dropped the threat of an investigation into illegal subsidies of the likes of Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. and ZTE Corp. (Shenzhen: 000063; Hong Kong: 0763) by the Chinese state. (See Euronews: EC Pushes for Huawei/ZTE Probe and Euronews: EC Sharpens Knives Over Huawei, ZTE.)
Moody's Investors Service has downgraded KPN Telecom NV (NYSE: KPN)'s rating to Baa3 from Baa2. In a statement, Moody's said: "Today's downgrade reflects our expectation that KPN's financial ratios will remain weak in 2014-15 with no prospects of recovery in the short-term." KPN has been facing intense pressure in its domestic market, and last October only just managed to see off a takeover bid from América Móvil S.A. de C.V. 's Carlos Slim. (See Euronews: KPN to Axe up to 2,000 Dutch Jobs and Euronews: Slim Abandons KPN Bid.)
Spotify , the Sweden-based music streaming service, may be launching an IPO in the fall, reports The Guardian, citing the Quartz website. The company, which has come under fire from some top artists for paying insufficient royalties, has apparently been talking to a number of investment banks, which is being interpreted by some observers as pre-IPO preparation.
Portugal Telecom SGPS SA (NYSE: PT)'s planned merger with Brazil's Grupo Oi has hit a speed-bump, reports Reuters, as Brazil's securities watchdog has suspended the offer of shares in Oi for 30 days following a breach of a mandatory "quiet period" by Oi's CEO.
UK joint mobile venture EE has brought 4G to 12 more towns, bringing its location count to 187. Towns in Northern Ireland, Wales, Scotland, and England all feature in the latest crop. One of them was Nuneaton -- so let's hear it for Nuneaton! (See EE Adds to Its 4G Coverage in UK and Euronews: EE Hits 2M Mark With 4G.)
— Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading