Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: European Commission commits to competition in telecom; Disney goes OTT in UK; French 700MHz auction under starter's orders.
TalkTalk , the UK quad-play provider, is reeling from what it describes as a "significant and sustained cyberattack" on its website. Personal information, including the names, addresses, date of birth, phone numbers, email addresses, TalkTalk account information, credit card details and/or bank details of its approximately 4 million customers have been compromised, and the company has received a "ransom demand" from those purporting to be behind the attack, which was carried out using "SQL injection." According to the BBC, a Russian Islamist group had claimed responsibility for the attack, but such claims are often treated with skepticism. In the immediate aftermath of the news, shares in TalkTalk dropped by 10%, but by late morning they had staged a partial recovery. It's not the first time that TalkTalk has suffered such an attack, and CEO Dido Harding was at pains to reassure customers that it was doing everything it could to deal with the matter as quickly as possible.
The European Commission's (relatively) new digital commissioner has signaled that his organization sees competition rather than consolidation as the way forward for the European telecom market, reports the Financial Times (subscription required). In a speech at an ETNO-backed conference, Andrus Ansip told the audience that "axing competition rules is not the answer," adding that such as move "would only shift the cost of the networks on to consumers."
This could upset a few UK pay-TV providers… Disney is to launch its own over-the-top video streaming service in the UK, dedicated to its own vast canon of content. According to a BBC report, the service, which will cost £9.99 ($15.33) a month, is intended to mount a challenge to the likes of Netflix and Amazon Prime. But Sky , Virgin Media Inc. (Nasdaq: VMED) and TalkTalk already offer the Disney Channel in the UK as part of their pricier bundles, so where does that leave them? Frozen out?
The big four in French mobile -- Orange (NYSE: FTE), Bouygues Telecom , Free and SFR -- have been authorized by regulator Arcep to participate in the 700MHz band spectrum auction. The auction will begin on November 16.
Frozen? The question is, Paul, if they are going to be allowed to keep the Disney Channel in their offer.
Meanwhile, Disney's marketing and advertising department seems to have invaded the English supermarkets with little boxes of 'Frozen' cookies, Star Wars, and others in anticipation. -Susan