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Eurobites: Vodafone Has M&A Issues in Egypt

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Turkish PM bristles at un-banning of Twitter; Allot lands $5 million Tier 1 deal; BT Sport joins Chromecast line-up; Google upsets Italians.

  • Vodafone Group plc (NYSE: VOD) has run into a spot of bother in Egypt, reports the Financial Times (subscription required). The UK-based giant may have to buy out its state-backed mobile partner, Telecom Egypt, as the regulator has decreed that Telecom Egypt needs to acquire its own mobile license. Telecom Egypt currently holds a 45% stake in Vodafone's local unit. Vodafone will also have to pay E£100 million (US$14 million) to Telecom Egypt for the privilege of using its landlines, adds the report.

  • Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan is less than delighted about a court ruling lifting the ban on Twitter, reports Reuters. Access to the microblogging platform was blocked on March 21, after users had posted documents to the site reportedly showing evidence of government corruption. A ban on YouTube was also lifted Friday morning.

  • Allot Ltd. (Nasdaq: ALLT), the Israeli purveyor of Service Provider Information Technology (SPIT), has landed a $5 million deal with an unnamed but EMEA-based Tier 1 fixed/mobile operator for its Service Gateway (including packet inspcetion capabilities) and ClearSee Data Analytics solution. (See Allot Boasts $5M Order From EMEA Operator.)

  • BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA)'s premium sports channel, BT Sport, which is offered "free" to all BT broadband subscribers, is adding the BT Sport app to the line-up on Chromecast, Google (Nasdaq: GOOG)'s pint-sized content streaming device. BT broadband subscribers will be able to "cast" the app from their Android or iOS devices onto their TV screens. (See BT's Got Balls and Chromecast & the Battle for the Living Room.)

  • Norway's Telenor Group (Nasdaq: TELN) has been updating the world on the progress of its redundancies program. Following a review period, 182 employees have been granted redundancy packages, while more than 100 employees are expected to leave for early retirement during the course of this year. The operator is also aiming to cut back drastically on the number of external consultants it uses as part of the overall cost-cutting exercise.

  • Google's fleet of Street View cars has been making itself unpopular again in Europe: This time it's the Italian authorities who have slapped a fine on the search giant, for not labelling the street-snapping cars clearly enough. CEO Larry Page probably won't lose too much sleep, however: it's a €1 million (£830,000) fine. (See Making Google Less Creepy.)

    In Germany, Google's Street View cars received a rapturous welcome wherever they went.
    In Germany, Google's Street View cars received a rapturous welcome wherever they went.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

  • Sarah Thomas 4/7/2014 | 11:30:18 AM
    Re: incognito cars Yeah, I definitely understand why people don't like them. It's a useful service online, but creepy when you see someone taking your own picture.
    PaulERainford 4/7/2014 | 4:10:39 AM
    Re: Pint-sized Chromecast I stand corrected. Vodka-shot-sized? Not sure that will catch on. Just trying to keep the pint alive, Dan, cos over here we're not really allowed pints anymore. I have a four-pint bottle of milk on the table in front of me, except it's not labelled as 'four pints', it's '2.272 litres'. Makes you think.
    DOShea 4/6/2014 | 9:40:35 PM
    Pint-sized Chromecast Paul, Chromecast is much smaller than a pint... and not nearly as much fun because you can't drink it.
    danielcawrey 4/5/2014 | 2:16:45 PM
    Re: incognito cars I think the cameras are a dead giveway, it's just that these Street Cars in Europe are intensely disliked. I mean, it seems that these huge cameras are an invasion of privacy.

    Eurozone officials want to see more markings to identify these cars just as a way to flag them for what they are in recording things from the street. 
    PaulERainford 4/4/2014 | 12:13:41 PM
    Re: incognito cars You'd think so. Perhaps the latest incarnations of Street View cars have less visible cameras? Anyone seen one down their road recently?
    Sarah Thomas 4/4/2014 | 11:56:00 AM
    incognito cars Isn't the huge camera on the Google Street cars a dead giveaway?
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