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Also in today's EMEA roundup: BT may have to cut leased line prices; Spanish regulator under EC scrutiny; Vodafone boss talks up Euro investment

Paul Rainford

February 26, 2013

2 Min Read
Euronews: SFR Drags Vivendi Down

Vivendi, BT Group plc and Vodafone Group plc rule the roost in Tuesday's chicken coop of EMEA news.

  • Problems at mobile subsidiary SFR were largely blamed for a 13.6 percent slump in full-year profits at Vivendi to €2.55 billion (US$3.33 billion). SFR has struggled to compete with Free Mobile, the cut-price brand launched by Iliad in early 2012. (See Vivendi FY Profits Down 13.6% and Iliad Disrupts the French Mobile Scene.)

  • There's potential bad news for BT as U.K. regulator Ofcom submits plans to regulate the carrier's wholesale leased line services to the European Commission. According to an Ofcom statement, BT has been found to have "significant market power" in this sector.

  • Neelie Kroes, the European Commission's vice president for the Digital Agenda, has her eye on Spain, which is planning to merge its telecom regulator with other government agencies in a cost-cutting exercise, reports Reuters. The Commission's fear is that the merger could undermine the independence of the regulator, and legal action against Spain could be on the cards.

  • Speaking on the sidelines at Mobile World Congress, Vodafone CEO Vittorio Colao has been insisting that the operator would not have to sell its stake in Verizon Wireless before making further investments in Europe, Reuters reports.

  • Smartphones in space: It isn't as cool as pigs in space, but then what is? Those cra-zeee researchers at the U.K.'s University of Surrey have blasted (from India) a smartphone into orbit, to test out the old adage that "in space, no-one can hear you scream." As the BBC reports, the phone will play out a series of pre-loaded screams and see if anything happens. On a more useful note, the launch will also test the durability of the phone's components.— Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

About the Author(s)

Paul Rainford

Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

Paul is based on the Isle of Wight, a rocky outcrop off the English coast that is home only to a colony of technology journalists and several thousand puffins.

He has worked as a writer and copy editor since the age of William Caxton, covering the design industry, D-list celebs, tourism and much, much more.

During the noughties Paul took time out from his page proofs and marker pens to run a small hotel with his other half in the wilds of Exmoor. There he developed a range of skills including carrying cooked breakfasts, lying to unwanted guests and stopping leaks with old towels.

Now back, slightly befuddled, in the world of online journalism, Paul is thoroughly engaged with the modern world, regularly firing up his VHS video recorder and accidentally sending text messages to strangers using a chipped Nokia feature phone.

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