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Eurobites: Fate of User Data Could Scupper Future M&A

Paul Rainford
9/29/2016

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: IT bosses see the point of open networking; O2 chooses Netcracker for billing; CityFibre finds Manchester partner; Spotify in talks to buy SoundCloud.

  • The fate of user data after proposed mergers and acquisitions could become key to whether such deals receive the approval of the European Commission, EU competition chief Margrethe Vestager has warned. As Bloomberg reports, Vestager's comments come as the Commission prepares to examine the implications of Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT)'s proposed takeover of professional network owner LinkedIn Corp. , and re-examine what has happened to user data following Facebook 's acquisition of messaging service WhatsApp in 2014. "Companies need to make sure they don't use data in a way that stops others competing," said Vestager.

  • New research commissioned by Juniper Networks Inc. (NYSE: JNPR) has found that IT decision-makers in the EMEA region see the adoption of open networking as crucial to the digital transformation of their networks. Of the 800 bigwigs surveyed, 83% expressed support for open networking, while of those not yet on board with the idea, 68% reckoned their organizations are likely to warm to open networking within the next 36 months.

  • Telefónica UK Ltd. (O2) has extended its billing partnership with Netcracker Technology Corp. , renewing and expanding its existing deal, which sees the operator using Netcracker's Revenue Management offering as its largest billing platform.

  • UK "altnet" CityFibre has agreed to a 15-year capacity deal on its Manchester network with euNetworks Group Ltd. , a metro fiber provider. The deal is worth £0.5 million (US$0.65 million) and brings the total of CityFibre's service provider customers to 52. (See CityFibre Aims High in BT Battle.)

  • Spotify , the Swedish company behind the music streaming service of the same name, is in talks to buy Berlin-based SoundCloud, the Financial Times reports (subscription required). SoundCloud, which allows established artists and budding guitar-strummers/knob-twiddlers to upload new material, has a devoted following in hipster circles but has failed so far to turn a profit. It is thought Spotify needs to consolidate if it is to see off the threat from the likes of Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) and Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN), which have both launched rival music streaming services.

  • Telenor Group (Nasdaq: TELN) has extended its partnership with CSL, an M2M specialist, as the Nordic operator hopes to position itself to take advantage of potential opportunities in the M2M sphere, and in particular the need to bridge the analog-to-digital gap in communication devices across Europe.

  • As part of its campaign to "Fix Britain's Internet" (and reduce BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA)'s market dominance in the bargain), TalkTalk is highlighting new research conducted by ComRes that shows UK consumers believe the government's number-one infrastructure priority should be the improvement of Britain's national broadband network, as opposed to a new airport runway near London, the proposed HS2 rail link or the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station. TalkTalk wants Britain's broadband users to put pressure on the powers-that-be to enforce a "structural separation" between BT and its Openreach network access unit. (See BT, Ofcom & the Battle of Britain.)

  • It resembles an up-ended piano stool made of bricks; it once featured on the cover of a Pink Floyd album; and it has stood derelict and open to the elements for years: Yes, it's London's iconic Battersea Power Station, now finally in the process of being converted into office space. And, as the BBC reports, the largest of those offices will now be taken by Apple, which plans to scatter 1,400 of its minions across six floors of what was the central boiler house.

    Battersea Power Station: They don't build 'em like they used to...
    Battersea Power Station: They don't build 'em like they used to...

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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