Eurobites: Orange Hints at Italian Tie-Up

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: VimpelCom sells controlling stake in towers firm; Ericsson directs the traffic; Bouygues CEO not dead.

  • Orange (NYSE: FTE) CEO Stephane Richard has hinted that a tie-up between the French giant and Telecom Italia (TIM) could be on the horizon, reports Reuters. Richard told France's Journal de Dimanche that Italy's incumbent presents an "attractive European consolidation opportunity," though both parties have been keen to stress that no official negotiations along such lines are in train.

  • Russian operator VimpelCom Ltd. (NYSE: VIP) has sold its majority stake in Wind Telecomunicazioni SpA 's Galata towers subsidiary to Abertis for €693 million (US$778 million). Galata owns 7,377 towers at the last count.

  • Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) has launched Connected Traffic Cloud, which it describes as a "managed cloud platform that enables the sharing of real-time traffic and road condition data between connected vehicles and road traffic authorities." The target market is the road traffic authorities, which, says Ericsson, lack sufficient data to properly manage traffic flow.

  • Bouygues, the French conglomerate of which Bouygues Telecom is a part, found itself over the weekend having to formally deny that its CEO, Martin Bouygues, was dead, following erroneous media reports to that effect. According to Reuters, French Prime Minster Manuel Valls took to Twitter to say: "Glad to have had Martin Bouygues on the phone and to have shared his astonishment".

  • Ikea, the Swedish flat-pack furniture phenomenon, has unveiled a new range of tables and lamps that incorporate wireless charging spots for mobile devices, reports the BBC. Handy for when you need to get online to get help with putting the damn things together…

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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