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Regulation

Eurobites: Qualcomm Probed by EC Over Sales Tactics

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: some call them TIM; CityFibre makes progress in Aberdeen; BT accused of phone-box neglect.

  • Qualcomm Inc. (Nasdaq: QCOM)'s sales activities in Europe are to be examined by the European Commission, which has launched two formal investigations into possible "abusive behaviour" by the chipmaker in the area of baseband chipsets used in mobile devices. The first investigation will focus on whether the chipmaker offered illegal financial incentives to customers who committed to buying baseband chipsets exclusively from Qualcomm; the second will look into allegations of "predatory pricing," or in other words charging below cost price for its products to help see off its rivals.

  • Some call us… TIM! Perhaps inspired by this vintage slice of Monty Python, Telecom Italia (TIM) has let it be known that, brand-wise, it wants to be known henceforth as TIM (as in Telecom Italia Media). Apparently, the TIM brand "combines the dynamism of mobile phones with Telecom Italia’s technological and R&D heritage." But then you knew that.

  • CityFibre , the UK fiber infrastructure firm that is one of the select band of companies challenging BT in this sector, has begun the second construction phase of its CORE project in the Scottish city of Aberdeen and brought two new ISPs -- Commsworld and Converged Communication Solutions -- on board. (See CityFibre Aims for BT's Wholesale Business.)

  • When good telephone boxes go bad… BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) has been getting some stick from shareholders over the state of its classic Sir Giles Gilbert Scott telephone boxes, reports the Telegraph. Use of the phone boxes has understandably plummeted in recent years, and the feeling is that BT is neglecting these loss-making icons. Responding to a shareholder gripe about the state of many of the boxes, BT CEO Gavin Patterson admitted that the company "should do more" to keep them in better condition.

    Balls to the cost of maintaining classic phone boxes, says BT.
    Balls to the cost of maintaining classic phone boxes, says BT.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

  • Mitch Wagner 7/17/2015 | 4:18:54 PM
    Re: Phone booths Yeah, that's a lot of work. Easier to just connect over your wireless data connection. 
    kq4ym 7/17/2015 | 9:01:03 AM
    EC Contols It sure seems the EC is watching everyone very carefully for bending or breaking rules. Makes one wonder what the costs are to companies who must take care to not cause their ire in Europe. And I wonder how strictly the rules are enforced like this one claiming Qualcomm gave "illegal financial incentives to customers."
    Kruz 7/17/2015 | 2:14:20 AM
    Re: Phone booths The problem lies in the way it was implemented, requesting your mobile number and email along with a download of a local store coupon, in exchange for wifi access.
    Mitch Wagner 7/16/2015 | 5:14:10 PM
    Phone booths I guess the effort to turn the red phone booths into WiFi hotspots didn't go anywhere?
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