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Eurobites: Orange's M&A Plans Squashed by EU Hard Line

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Regulators dig in on net neutrality; German CDN taps Zayo; Samsung Pay makes European debut in Spain.

  • A top Orange (NYSE: FTE) executive has said that recent European Commission opposition to proposed mergers have made it highly unlikely that the French giant will be pursuing any major M&A action in the foreseeable future, according to a Financial Times report (subscription required). Gervais Pellisier, Orange's deputy chief executive and director of European operations, said that cross-border and domestic consolidation was "not on the agenda… for the next 12, 18 or 24 months." Referring to the recent decision to block the proposed merger of Three UK and Telefónica UK Ltd. (O2) in the UK, Pellisier added: "There is no direct legal link but we cannot imagine a local antitrust authority going completely in the other direction… of the tone given at the Brussels level." Takeover talks between Orange and domestic rival Bouygues Telecom recently fizzled out in the face of anticipated competition issues. (See End of the Bouygues Affair for Orange and Eurobites: EU vetoes O2/3 combo.)

  • The European Commission will continue to make life difficult for operators on the issue of "net neutrality," according to a Reuters report. The Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC) has issued a set of draft guidelines which stipulate that operators will only be able to offer dedicated network capacity to services if it is "objectively required" and only if it does not create a two-speed Internet.

  • Link11, a German infrastructure provider and CDN specializing in DDoS protection and server hosting, is tapping into Zayo Group Inc. (NYSE: ZAYO)'s Ethernet network to drive its expansion across the US and Europe. The network for Link11 will span London, Frankfurt, Miami, New York and Los Angeles. (See Link11 Taps Into Zayo's Ethernet Network.)

  • Samsung Corp. 's mobile payment platform, Samsung Pay, has made its debut in Europe, launching in Spain. The platform is already up and running in South Korea, the US and China. Samsung Pay-ready devices include the Samsung Galaxy S7, S7 edge, S6, S6 edge and S6 edge+.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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