Eurobites: Orange Confirms Bouygues Talks

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: O2 to use AT&T's smart home platform in UK; Intel buys German drone company; TDC and Huawei open technology showcase.

  • Following press speculation over the last day or two, Orange (NYSE: FTE) has confirmed that it is in "renewed preliminary discussions" with Bouygues Group regarding a possible takeover of Bouygues Telecom . However, Orange is keen to stress that no timetable has been set for the talks, and no commitments made. According to reports in Le Journal du Dimanche, Orange is said to be considering a €10 billion (US$10.9 billion) acquisition of number-three operator Bouygues, a deal that, if concluded, would leave France with just three network operators. (See Orange Gets Serious About $10.9B Bouygues Takeover – Report.)

  • Telefónica UK Ltd. (O2) will be the first European operator to offer AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T)'s Digital Life smart home platform, according to a Financial Times report (subscription required). Digital Life is touted as a means of bringing central heating, home security and energy management under the control of a single Internet-based platform, with AT&T providing the software and thermostat manufacturers such as Tado playing their part.

  • US chip giant Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC) has agreed to acquire German drone specialist Ascending Technologies. The pair have already worked together to combine Ascending's sense-and-avoid algorithms with Intel's real-time depth-sensing software. Drones are widely tipped to play a significant role in the future of communications -- not least for mobile tower inspections and testing. (See Eurobites: Nokia & Du Send in the Drones.)

  • Denmark's TDC A/S (Copenhagen: TDC) has teamed up with Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. to open what the vendor is calling its first "professional services showcase" in Europe. The platform is intended to offer an insight into how Huawei supports operators in the realms of customer experience management, operation quality assurance and efficiency improvement. In the purple prose of the Huawei press release, operators "can now have a Quality Brand Network tour in Copenhagen in the Fairy tale kingdom." Sounds a bit of a Grimm day out.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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