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Spectrum

Eurobites: 3 UK Threatens Lawsuit Over 5G Auction

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: EU scrutinizes Facebook's response to charges over WhatsApp deal; Dusseldorf trials digital health system with ZTE; Onecom boss cleared of manslaughter charges.

  • The chief executive of UK mobile operator Three UK , Dave Dyson, has told the Financial Times (subscription required) that his company would have "no option" but to mount a legal challenge to Ofcom's 5G spectrum auction if the regulator did not take measures to ensure smaller operators are not frozen out of the process. Dyson's big fear, which he has expressed on several occasions, is that BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) (which now owns EE ) and Vodafone Group plc (NYSE: VOD) could dominate the auction by bidding strategically to reinforce their dominance of the airwaves. (See UK's 3 Huffs & Puffs That It's Short of Air.)

  • Margrethe Vestager, the European Commission 's combative antitrust chief, is reviewing Facebook 's response to the Commission's accusation that the social media giant provided misleading information to EU competition authorities during its acquisition bid for WhatsApp in 2014. According to a Reuters report, Facebook told the Commission that it was unable to match reliably the two companies' user accounts, but Vestager and her troops believe that this was in fact technically possible at the time. The company could face a fine of 1% of its global turnover, which equates to around $179 million on 2015 revenues. (See Facebook to Acquire WhatsApp for $16B.)

  • The German city of Dusseldorf has completed a digital healthcare pilot with Chinese vendor ZTE Corp. (Shenzhen: 000063; Hong Kong: 0763). Ten elderly volunteers took part in the trial, which used sensors linked to an intelligent analysis platform to allow carers to keep an eye on older family members without the use of cameras. A specific example is a mattress sensor, which was able to detect an irregular heart rate during the night for one of the participants in the trial.

  • The millionaire CEO of Onecom, a UK business services firm, has been cleared of manslaughter charges following the death of a friend in a speedboat accident off the Isle of Wight. As the Isle of Wight County Press reports, Aaron Brown crashed a rigid inflatable boat into his luxury yacht in June 2015, killing Ryan McKinlay.

  • Say sayonara to Sonera: Sweden's Telia Company has decided that its Finnish subsidiary, Sonera, should be called Telia instead. According to a YLE report, all services and pricing for former customers of Sonera will remain the same.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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