Also in today's EMEA roundup: Liberty Global to buy Ziggo; Ericsson, Samsung agree patents peace deal; SFR, Bouygues close to network-sharing alliance.
It looks like Vodafone Group plc (NYSE: VOD) will be staying in British hands, at least for the next six months, as AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) has announced that it has no current plans to put in a bid for the Newbury, UK-based group. As Bloomberg reports, the AT&T announcement sent Vodafone's shares southwards by 4.9% in early Monday trading, its biggest drop in five years. Meanwhile, adds Bloomberg, Vodafone has designs on ONO , the Spanish cable operator that has just announced plans for an IPO. (See Euronews: Spain's ONO Mulls IPO.)
Here's one US incursion into European territory that is going ahead: Liberty Global Inc. (Nasdaq: LBTY), the US cable giant, has agreed takeover terms with Dutch cable operator Ziggo B.V. . If all goes to plan, Liberty Global will pay €10.0 billion (US$13.7 billion) in stock and cash for Ziggo, giving it control of the accounts of 7 million Dutch cable subscribers. The deal is expected to close in the second half of 2014. (See Liberty Global to Buy Ziggo for €10B and Euronews: Liberty Global Back in Takeover Talks With Ziggo.)
Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) has reached an agreement with Samsung Corp. on patents, which will see ongoing royalty payments from Samsung to Ericsson. The details of the deal are confidential, but Ericsson says in a statement that the initial payment in the agreement will boost Ericsson's sales and earnings in the fourth quarter of 2013 by 4.2 billion Swedish kroner ($652 million) and SEK3.3 billion ($512 million) respectively. Back in 2011 Ericsson sued Samsung over its refusal to renew a patent license agreement on so-called FRAND (fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory) terms, following two years of negotiations. (See Euronews: Ericsson Sets Lawyers on Samsung and Euronews: Ericsson Eyes Patents Cash Cow.)
French mobile operators SFR and Bouygues Telecom are nearing a deal on network sharing, according to this Reuters report. The pair are looking to cut costs in the face of fierce competition from cut-price upstart Free Mobile . (See Free Disrupts French Mobile Market.)
London's Imperial College is to collaborate with Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. on a laboratory that will focus on potential "big data" applications. The Chinese giant will be forking out for new equipment, providing a research fund, and covering operational costs. (See Huawei & Imperial College to Open Big Data Lab.)
— Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading