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Euronews: Sept. 27

Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) has been waving its checkbook in Nortel Networks Ltd. 's direction again, Eastern Europe is setting an example for the rest of the region when it comes to fiber-based broadband access, and Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL)'s off the EU hook.

  • Ericsson is shelling out for Shasta, as the Swedish giant is buying yet another piece of the former Nortel empire -- this time, it's the Canadian firm's multiservice switch business that's heading Ericsson's way. (See Ericsson Buys Another Piece of Nortel.)

  • Eastern Europe is a hotbed of fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) activity, according to the FTTH Council , which notes that "a number of Eastern European economies, notably Lithuania, Slovenia, Estonia and Bulgaria, continue to show strong market penetration for FTTH as deployments expand in those countries." The Council also notes that Bulgaria and Romania have now joined its Global Ranking, and that "if we include Russia, today the majority of [Europe's] FTTH/B connections are in Eastern Europe." (See FTTH Council Updates on Global Rollout.)

  • Apple's off the hook with the European Union’s antitrust regulators as Brussels has decided to drop two investigations into apps development tools and warranty issues surrounding the iPhone following Apple's change of policy in these areas. (See EU Drops Apple iPhone Investigation.)

  • No let-off, however, for the Spanish government, whose so-called "telco tax" on the country's operators, imposed to help make up the money state-owned broadcaster RTVE has lost as a result of declining advertising revenues, has been ruled illegal by EU Digital Agenda commissioner Neelie "The Enforcer" Kroes, reports Broadband TV News.

  • The Daily Telegraph reports that Telefónica UK Ltd. , Telefónica SA (NYSE: TEF)'s UK mobile operator, is to launch what the newspaper calls -- brace yourself, seniors -- a "tag-a-granny" service. It's a mobile monitoring system that uses mobile technology to alert carers if a vulnerable relative suffers a fall or wanders off unexpectedly. Ah, bless…

    Elsewhere in Europe:

    — Paul Rainford, freelance editor, special to Light Reading

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