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Eurobites: Broadcom makes peace offering to EU to head off monster fine

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Germany changes tack on coronavirus app technology; Telxius towers deal in the offing; Parallel Wireless takes OpenRAN to Ghana.

  • Broadcom, the US company that makes chips for smartphones and other electronic devices, has sought to head off a monster fine from the European Commission by pledging not to offer any more incentives to TV and modem makers to favor its chips over those of its rivals. As Reuters reports, Broadcom could be fined up to 10% of its global turnover if found guilty of breaching European Union competition rules. The Commission will now mull over Broadcom's offer, which would be valid for five years.

  • Make your mind up! On Friday we reported how Germany was at odds over Apple over its approach to favoring a "centralized" approach when it comes to the development of contact-tracing apps to help in the battle against COVID-19. Well, scrub that, because it seems a volte-face has taken place over the weekend, and now, according to Reuters, Germany has fallen into line with a number of other European countries and opted for a "decentralized" approach, abandoning a home-grown alternative developed by the Robert Koch Institute. If you prefer your news in capital letters, Germany has, in terms of technology protocols, abandoned PEPP-PT for DP-3T. (See Eurobites: Germany at odds with Apple over coronavirus-tracing app and France unveils project team for StopCovid app.)

  • Telefónica is in negotiations with Telxius, the towers company it co-owns with private equity firm KKR and the Pontegadea investmend fund, over the potential sale of around 10,000 masts belonging to Telefónica's German subsidiary, O2, Expansion reports. The deal could be worth as much as €1.5 billion, the report adds.

  • The Ghana Investment Fund for Electronic Communications (GIFEC) has chosen Parallel Wireless' OpenRAN offering to provide mobile connectivity to underserved and unserved communities in Ghana. The fund was set up by the Ghanaian government to provide provide telecommunications and ICT services to marginalized communities in the country.

  • France's Bouygues Telecom is offering one hour of free data for video calls each day so that locked-down friends and family can keep in touch and admire each other's interior design without eating into their data allowance. The offer runs until May 31.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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