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Eurobites: Ofcom Greases Wheels of BT/EE Deal

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: TeliaSonera and Telenor make concessions on planned Danish merger; Pernille Erenbjerg appointed CEO of Denmark's TDS; Amazon expands Africa.

  • BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) will be breathing easier following a report from UK regulator Ofcom advising competition watchdogs that most of the concerns raised by BT's rivals over its planned takeover of mobile operator EE do not merit action on the watchdogs' part. As the Daily Telegraph reports, Ofcom's 65-page submission to the Competition and Markets Authority claimed that it already possessed the powers to stop the proposed combination of BT and EE unfairly dominating the market. (See BT, EE Defend $19.9B Merger Plans and BT, EE Put Squeeze on Broadband Rivals.)

  • Nordic rivals Telia Company and Telenor Group (Nasdaq: TELN) have jointly offered a package of concessions which they hope will be enough to secure EU regulatory approval for their plan to merge their Danish operations, reports Reuters. No details of the actual concessions have been made public. The deadline for the European Commission's decision on the deal has been put back once again, from September 16 to October 7.

  • Still in Denmark, TDC A/S (Copenhagen: TDC) has appointed Pernille Erenbjerg CEO, effective immediately. Erenbjerg has been with TDC since 2003, in various finance roles, and prior to TDC she was a partner at Deloitte. She replaces Carsten Dilling. Last week, TDC's shares hit a ten-month low following a disappointing set of results.

  • Amazon Web Services Inc. is opening an office in Johannesburg as part of its drive to expand its operations in Africa, reports Bloomberg. The company already has a service center in Cape Town.

  • German cable operator Tele Columbus AG reported second-quarter EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization) up 9.2% year-on-year to €27.7 million (US$30.9 million), on revenues up 2.3% to €54.3 million ($60.7 million). Subscriptions were up 12.3%, to 213,000. In April, the operator launched a 400Mbit/s broadband service in the city of Potsdam, and it plans to roll out the service to other areas.

  • The CFO of América Móvil S.A. de C.V. , the Latin American operator owned by Mexican moneybags Carlos Slim, says his company is still on the lookout for possible deals in Europe, according to this Reuters report. Eastern Europe, where it already owns Telekom Austria Group , is a particular focus, says Carlos Garcia Moreno.

  • BT is targeting students with the launch of two nine-month broadband contracts. The basic package offers speeds of up to 17 Mbit/s for ₤12.50 ($19.54) a month; the posher version promises speeds of up to 76 Mbit/s for ₤22.50 ($35.18) a month.

  • TT-Network (TTN), the Danish joint venture between TeliaSonera and Telenor, has completed the final phase of its Single RAN network sharing project, the technology for which was supplied by Nokia Networks . The vendor claims that this is the first time that a network across GSM, 3G and LTE has been supplied to two operators sharing the network and frequencies.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

  • mendyk 8/20/2015 | 11:45:22 AM
    Cloud burst Paul -- I'm surprised you didn't include an item on the data center outage suffered by Google. A couple of lightning strikes in Belgium disrupted Goog's cloud services. I figured your sense of poetic justice would have made this the lead (or last) item of the day.
    Kruz 8/20/2015 | 11:42:59 AM
    Re: America Movil Yes, but these are markets where competitions is tough and where ARPUs are on the decrease
    mendyk 8/20/2015 | 11:41:01 AM
    Re: America Movil New markets -- where the grass is always greener.
    Kruz 8/20/2015 | 11:29:07 AM
    America Movil It is interesting to see an interest from America Movil for acquisitions in Europe while European based operators themselves are on the hunt for operators in Africa and the Middle East region.
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