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Eurobites: Bonnier Acquisition Still on Track, Says Telia

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Telenor earnings down in Q3; Deutsche Telekom unit goes large on blockchain; Nokia's new switches tweaked for 5G cloud RAN.

  • Sweden's Telia is seeking to reassure shareholders that its proposed acquisition of Bonnier Broadcasting, which it hopes will beef up its TV business, will not be affected by the imminent announcement of a new chair of its board and a new CEO. In a statement, Telia Group General Counsel Jonas Bengtsson answers a series of self-posed questions, maintaining that the "agreement isn't in any way affected by changes in management or among the Board of Directors." Bengtsson adds that the only condition still outstanding before the deal goes ahead is approval by the European Commission. The Commission has expressed concern that Telia's rivals would be locked out of Bonnier's TV channels if and when the deal is completed. (See Eurobites: Telia's Bonnier Deal Comes Under EU Scrutiny and Eurobites: Telia Turns Up TV Offer With Bonnier Acquisition.)

  • Elsewhere in the Nordics, Norway's Telenor is reporting a 7.3% year-on-year decline in third-quarter organic EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization), to 12.09 billion Norwegian kroner (US$1.32 billion), on organic revenue that grew by 0.1%, to NOK29.53 billion ($3.22 billion). During the quarter, Telenor completed its acquisition of Finnish operator DNA. One particular blackspot for Telenor is Pakistan, where the re-introduction of a telecom tax and a "difficult macroeconomic environment" didn't do the operator any favors.

  • Deutsche Telekom subsidiary T-Systems is launching what it describes as a "blockchain-as-a-service marketplace," which is intended to provide companies with a platform for blockchain networks. The idea is that businesses will be able to use blockchain to keep tabs on a product's entire "value chain," from raw materials to delivery.

  • Nokia has taken the wraps off a new range of packet-optical switches which, the Finnish vendor says, will enable mobile network operators to "cost effectively evolve" to 5G cloud RAN. The 1830 TPS switches support a mix of existing and new radio interface protocols.

  • The decision by French telecom regulator Arcep to give Free more access to, and information on, Orange's fiber network has been upheld by the Paris Court of Appeal.

  • EllaLink, an Ireland-based optical platform company, has joined forces with industrial park business Global Parks to promote the Sines Tech data center hub in Sines, Portugal. According to the two companies, Sines Tech offers cheap land with access to high power density networks, including nearly solar parks, as well as high-availability backhaul routes to Madrid and Lisbon.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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