Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Vodafone close to ONO deal; Vivendi favors Numericable bid for SFR, says minister; the future of phone chargers.
The board of Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) is about to name Rajeev Suri, the current head of Nokia Networks , as its new CEO, according to a report on Finnish news website YLE, citing daily newspaper Helsingin Sanomat. Risto Siilasmaa assumed an interim CEO role for Nokia when Stephen Elop stepped down following the sale of Nokia's handsets business to Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT). Suri took over from Simon Beresford-Wylie as CEO of NSN in 2009, and is widely credited with turning around the fortunes of the vendor. (See NSN's Rajeev Suri: Restructuring, Research & Resilience and NSN's Rajeev Suri: Carrier Capex & Customer Experience.)
Despite giving the go-ahead on Thursday for an initial public offering (IPO), shareholders in Spanish cable operator ONO are now close to accepting a €7.2 billion (US$9.9 billion) bid from Vodafone Group plc (NYSE: VOD), reports Reuters. Separately, Vodafone has announced that the integration of Vodafone Germany and Kabel Deutschland GmbH will begin on April 1. The combination will leave Vodafone with more than 32 million mobile subscribers, around 5 million broadband, and 7.6 million cable TV customers in Germany. (See Euronews: Vodafone Homes In On ONO, Euronews: Rivals Set for Cable Asset Battle, and Euronews: Vodafone Clears Hurdle to Kabel Bid.)
Meanwhile, in the latest twist to the SFR saga, Bloomberg reports that Vivendi is favoring the bid from Numericable-SFR over the rival offer from Bouygues Telecom for its mobile unit, according to French industry minister Arnaud Montebourg. The French government sees the Bouygues bid as a safer bet, however. Today is decision day for the Vivendi board, so, either way, the torment should end soon.
No more phone charger mayhem? Members of the European Parliament have voted to amend the draft law on certain categories of radio equipment -- and that includes mobile phones -- to stipulate that the ability to work with common chargers will be an essential requirement for such equipment. But at the very least it will be three years before manufacturers will have to comply with the new law, assuming it completes its tortuous passage.
Streaming services provided by the likes of Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX) and Spotify have increased the UK home entertainment sector's revenues by 26% year-on-year to £5.3 billion ($8.7 billion), reports the Daily Telegraph. Sixty percent of this figure was derived from online services; the rest was from bricks-and-mortar stores.
Rajeev Suri: You da man! (Possibly)
— Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading