Skype could find itself in some legal bother in France if the Paris public prosecutor decides to act on information from the country's communications regulator, ARCEP. The regulator has been pressing for Skype to declare itself as a provider of electronic communications for years and has finally run out of patience with the VoIP titan, which hasn't complied with the regulator's requests as it regards itself as a software company. Now ARCEP has informed the Paris public prosecutor that Skype's failure to comply constitutes "a criminal offense." Several visits to the local brasserie may be required before further judgment is forthcoming: Major decisions cannot be taken on an empty stomach, you know…
It's a busy day for the French regulator … ARCEP has found itself in broad agreement with the French Competition Authority regarding the possibility of greater network sharing and roaming between the country's mobile operators. With regards to network sharing, ARCEP notes that "the Competition Authority recommends such agreements be examined in light of three criteria: the degree of competition between the two parties, their joint market power and the features of the areas covered by the agreement. The Authority also offers differing recommendations for high-density and sparsely populated areas. The Competition Authority thus echoes the case-by-case approach that ARCEP recommended in its opinion." For more details, see this document (in French).
Telenor has acquired Liquid Barcodes, the leading provider of mobile coupons in Norway, as part of its strategy to boost loyalty and revenues through mobile commerce services. Telenor already owns a majority stake (51 percent) in Valuecodes, which it set up in 2010 with Payex. The Nordic operator isn't the only mobile carrier investing in coupon specialists. (See Will Vodafone Start a Mobile Coupon Craze?)
News that both the U.S. department of justice and the U.K.'s Serious Fraud Office have begun investigations into Autonomy Corp.'s accounts, following accusations of fraud from the business intelligence software firm's new owner Hewlett-Packard Co., is nothing to get excited about, reckons industry analyst Richard Windsor. In November HP accused Autonomy of using "accounting improprieties, misrepresentations and disclosure failures" to inflate the value of its business prior to its acquisition by HP. (See HP/Autonomy: Nothing to Get Excited About.)
Subsea network operator Seacom Ltd. is upgrading its pipes across the Southern and Eastern African coastlines with help from Ciena Corp., which is providing its 6500 packet-optical platform and OneControl unified management system for the project. (See Seacom Upgrades With Ciena.)
BEREC, the Body of European Regulators of Electronic Communications, has given its support to the European Commission's draft recommendations on "non-discrimination obligations and costing methodology for regulated wholesale network access," and that makes Neelie Kroes, the EC's vice president for the Digital Agenda, very happy. See this statement from Kroes for more details.
Regulatory price cuts contributed to a 4.5 percent decline in annual Dutch mobile revenues to €5.8 billion (US$7.5 billion), according to research conducted by Telecompaper (subscription required), which noted that this is the second consecutive year-on-year decline in aggregate mobile revenues.
— Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading