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Eurobites: Orange CEO Hints at M&A in 2016

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Middle Eastern operators missing out on mast-sharing; Sky signs Irish content deal; Ireland in trouble over Apple tax arrangements.

  • More consolidation in the French telecom market could be on the cards next year following the sale of new 4G frequencies, according to Orange (NYSE: FTE) CEO Stephane Richard. However, in an interview with Les Echos, Richard said that cross-border consolidation will only occur when the long-promised European single market for telecom becomes a reality.

  • Telcos in the Middle East could save as much as 30% in operational costs if they shared masts, Mohamad Darwish, the deputy chief executive of infrastructure group IHS, told The National. According to some observers, the government protection of mobile operators is partly to blame for the lack of mast-sharing in the region.

  • UK triple-play provider Sky has signed a long-term partnership deal with Irish broadcaster RTÉ. The agreement sees Sky delivering RTÉ content across a range of platforms on tablets, smartphones and other devices.

  • Still in Ireland, the government there could soon face legal action from European authorities for its kid-glove tax treatment of Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL), reports Bloomberg. In 2013, Apple admitted that it had effectively paid tax at a rate of less than 2% over the previous ten years in Ireland. Apple versus the Irish government in the European Union Court of Justice looks a likely prospect, says an unnamed source with knowledge of the matter, according to the report.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

  • Susan Fourtané 9/8/2015 | 5:28:48 AM
    Apple vs. Ireland I remember that case about Apple and the tax issue in Ireland. How slow these legal things always go never fail to surprise me. -Susan
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