Mobile services

Eurobites: O2/3 Deal Facing EU Veto

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: ETSI sets out its stall; EU's Margrethe gives Android her hard stare; Sky does pan-European movie deal with Sony.

  • The European Union antitrust authorities are likely to veto the proposed merger of Telefónica UK Ltd. (O2) and Three UK , according to a Bloomberg report. Bloomberg's sources say the European Commission , like the UK's Competition & Markets Authority before it, was unimpressed by Hutchison Whampoa Ltd. (Hong Kong: 0013; Pink Sheets: HUWHY)'s offer to sell space on its combined network to MVNOs as a way of maintaining competition in the UK mobile market. (See Eurobites: Merger of O2 & 3 Is a Bad Idea, UK Tells EC, Eurobites: O2 & 3 May Not Become One and Orange & Hutch: A Tale of Two Takeovers.)

  • The ETSI Mobile Edge Computing Industry Specification Group (MEC ISG) has released three initial "foundation-level" specification documents that aim to set the groundwork for ongoing MEC industry developments. The three documents specify the "technical requirements enabling interoperability and deployment and describe examples of uses cases of mobile edge computing … a framework and reference architecture to enable mobile edge applications to run efficiently and seamlessly in a mobile network," and a glossary of terms. MEC is regarded as an important component of next-generation mobile network architectures as operators figure out how they will manage and deliver services in an advanced 4G and, ultimately, a 5G world. The full documents can be accessed at the MEC ISG website. (See ETSI Mobile Edge Computing ISG Unveils Initial Specs , Getting to Grips With Mobile Edge Computing, Eurobites: ETSI Gets Close to the Mobile Edge and EE Revs Mobile Edge Computing Efforts.)

  • Back in EU antitrust territory, Margrethe Vestager, the European Competition Commissioner, has told delegates at a Dutch conference that she is now training her laser-like focus on the various deals that Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) has struck with device makers and operators in relation to its Android operating system, reports Reuters.

  • UK-based pay-TV giant Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) has struck a multi-year, pan-European movie content deal with Sony Pictures Television, which includes for the first time any Ultra HD productions. The deal applies to Sky's operations in the UK, Ireland, Germany, Austria and Italy -- previously Sky and Sony had always negotiated such agreements on a territory-by-territory basis.

  • CityFibre , the UK infrastructure challenger, has narrowed losses in its full-year results, down from £7 million (US$9.9 million) in 2014 to £6.4 million ($9 million) in the most recent period. More significantly, perhaps, the number of its service provider relationships has shot up from 25 in 2014 to 41 this time round, and the operator has added three more cities to its fiber portfolio. In January CityFibre acquired the duct and fiber assets of rival KCOM Group plc . (See CityFibre Takes On BT With $136M KCOM Acquisition and CityFibre's Gigabit Vision.)

  • Red Hat Inc. (NYSE: RHT), the US-based open source software specialist, has named Massimo Fatato vice president of its telecommunications business in EMEA. Fatato joins Red Hat from HP Inc. (NYSE: HPQ), where he served as general manager for its OSS portfolio, and previously held positions at Cisco and Accenture.

  • Crosswise, an Israeli big data startup, has been acquired by US giant Oracle Corp. (Nasdaq: ORCL) for around $50 million, according to a Times of Israel report. Crosswise uses machine-learning techniques to interpret data and then construct a "Device Map" from the data that matches a number of devices to individual users, a trick that can help advertisers promote their wares online more effectively.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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