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Eurobites: Freenet Takes a Chunk of Sunrise

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Schrems dents Privacy Shield; CERN looks at Deutsche Telekom's public cloud; Messi's new phone.

  • Freenet AG , a German MVNO, has splashed out €714 million (US$805 million) to become the single biggest shareholder in Swiss operator Sunrise Communications AG by acquiring a 23.8% stake from CVC Capital Partners . Sunrise, Switzerland's second-biggest mobile operator, is now under the leadership of former EE boss Olaf Swantee, who stood down from the UK joint venture when it was taken over by BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA). Freenet has more than 12 million customers in Germany. (See Eurobites: Swantee Resurfaces at Sunrise and Eurobites: Sunrise IPO on Horizon.)

  • Max Schrems, the Austrian data privacy activist who successfully prompted the European Union to kill off the Safe Harbor data-protection agreement through his legal action against Facebook , has dismissed Safe Harbor's proposed replacement, Privacy Shield, as merely Safe Harbor with "teeny tiny" changes, and a framework that changes nothing. See his full interview, broadcast on the European Parliament's own TV channel, below. (See Eurobites: 'Safe Harbor' Heads for Calmer Waters and Eurobites: Facebook Faces Privacy Class Action.)

  • Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT)'s recently launched Open Telekom Cloud has potentially bagged a high-profile customer in the shape of CERN, the particle-bashing (yes, that is the correct scientific term) establishment in Switzerland. CERN will use 1,000 simultaneous virtual machines and associated cluster storage of more than 500 terabytes for a three-month trial period, to find out if its data processing can be effectively outsourced to a commercial cloud provider. (See Eurobites: Deutsche Telekom Launches Public Cloud.)

  • Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) has launched its OZO virtual reality camera in Europe, which is aimed at professional VR content creation. The vendor has also teamed up with post-production house Deluxe and software house The Foundry to enable content from the camera to be processed. (See Nokia Launches OZO Virtual Reality Camera in Europe.)

  • BT Group has appointed Simon Lowth as its new Group Finance Director. Lowth, who joins BT on July 4, was most recently CFO at BG Group, so with a bit of Tipp-Ex he could probably use the same business card.

  • Lionel Messi, widely regarded as the best soccer player in the world, has ditched his Samsung phone for one from Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. , pocketing between €5 million and €6 million ($5.6-6.7 million) per year in the process, reports World Soccer. Commenting on his appointment, the diminutive Barcelona goal machine said: "You have to fight to reach your dream. You have to sacrifice and go all in, always looking forward to achieving greatness. The day you think there are no improvements to be made, you have to keep working to reach other achievements." Blimey. Makes you think.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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