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Eurobites: Telefónica's Q1 Blues

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: AlcaLu's IP boost; ZTE wins German patents case; Merkel backs easier M&A; BICS drags Belgacom down.

  • Telefónica SA (NYSE: TEF)'s first-quarter net income fell 23% year-on-year to €692 million (US$953 million) on revenues that were down 13.5% to €12.23 billion ($16.85 billion), though fluctuations in Latin American currencies ate into the Spanish operator's numbers. Bloomberg reports that, in the wake of the results announcement, Telefónica's shares fell 0.8 percent to €11.95 in early Madrid trading.

  • Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) reported first-quarter revenues (excluding the Enterprise division that it is selling) of €2.96 billion ($4.1 billion), down 3.3% from a year ago. But it cut its losses, reduced costs, and reported notable increases in IP and optical sales. (See IP, Optical Prop Up Alcatel-Lucent's Q1.)

  • A court in Dusseldorf has ruled in favor of China's ZTE Corp. (Shenzhen: 000063; Hong Kong: 0763) against a patent litigation initiated by SmartPhone Technologies LLC, an intellectual property company affiliated to Acacia Research Corp. (See ZTE Wins Court Case in Germany and ZTE Claims Patent Lead.)

  • German Chancellor Angela Merkel has joined the GSM Association (GSMA) and others in calling for restrictions on mergers between European telcos to be eased, reports the Financial Times (subscription required). She said that a greater balance needed to be struck between market power and competition to allow European operators to compete at a global level.

  • BICS , Belgacom SA (Euronext: BELG)'s international wholesale services provider, proved a drag on the group's first-quarter numbers, as revenues fell 6.6% year-on-year to €1.48 billion ($2.03 billion) and EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization) slipped by the same percentage to €412 million ($567 million). The decline of its prepaid mobile subscriber base was also a factor.

  • A much-discussed anti-piracy drive has finally got the green light in the UK, according to this BBC report. But content rights holders may not be happy with the plan, which will see BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA), Sky , TalkTalk , and Virgin Media Inc. (Nasdaq: VMED) sending "educational letters" to their broadband subscribers who are deemed to be illegally downloading content, rather than missives threatening possible punitive action, as had originally been mooted.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

  • Kruz 5/12/2014 | 8:29:39 AM
    For Telefonica's eyes only Rare to see the chancelor comment on issues like this unless there was a german party involved.
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