Telefonica may struggle to sell Czech business for premium: Bloomberg

Spain’s Telefonica may find it difficult to sell its Czech subsidiary to PPF Group for a satisfactory price, according to Bloomberg.

The operator this week revealed it was in discussions with the investment group, owned by Czech billionaire Petr Kellner, as it considers “strategic alternatives” for Telefonica Czech Republic, in which it currently holds a stake of about 70%.

India's Idea hit with INR6 billion fine for Spice merger

Indian telecoms authorities have hit mobile operator Idea Cellular with a fine of INR6 billion ($97 million) for illegally merging with smaller rival Spice Communications, reports the Times of India.

According to press reports, India’s Department of Telecommunications (DoT) regarded the tie-up as a “willful” violation of certain licensing conditions preventing a telecoms company from owning more than 10% of another in the same service area.

Spain's mobile market shows signs of further recovery in August

Reuters

The number of mobile phone connections in Spain increased for a fourth straight month in August, data published on Tuesday showed, marking a tentative recovery after two years of client losses.

Cash-strapped consumers in Spain, where one in four of the workforce is jobless, have been cutting mobile usage and switching to cheaper deals to save money as recession dragged on. Yet the economy is expected to have returned to growth in the second half of the year, prompting a gentle pick-up in consumer confidence.

SoftBank buys $1.5 billion stake in Finnish mobile games maker Supercell

Reuters

Japanese tech and telecoms group SoftBank Corp is paying 150 billion yen ($1.53 billion) for a 51 percent stake in Finnish mobile game maker Supercell, valuing the small maker of hit games "Clash of Clans" and "Hay Day" at $3 billion.

Softbank's (Tokyo, Japan) bid to claim a leading role in the fast-growing mobile games market makes 3-year-old Supercell (Helsinki, Finland), with about 100 employees and just two free-to-play games, more valuable than Zynga Inc (San Francisco, CA, USA), the $2.8 billion company behind former hits such as "FarmVille."

Operators urged to stop subsidizing devices by ABI Research

Mobile operators need to give up their habit of subsidizing mobile devices, according to a new study from ABI Research.

The report claims that operators are not reaping any return on the investments they are making to lure customers on to more expensive smartphone tariffs.

Indeed, according to ABI, the over-the-top providers are the ones that are benefiting from operators’ largesse as they take revenue share.

Telefonica in talks with PPF over sale of Czech subsidiary

Spanish telecoms incumbent Telefonica has acknowledged it is exploring “strategic alternatives” for its Czech subsidiary in a stock exchange filing.

The statement came in response to press speculation that Telefonica (Madrid, Spain) is planning to sell its 70% stake in Telefonica Czech Republic in a deal that could raise as much as $3.6 billion for the debt-burdened Spanish operator, based on the subsidiary’s current market value.

Vodafone completes Kabel Deutschland takeover

The UK’s Vodafone has completed its €7.7 billion ($10.43 billion) takeover of Kabel Deutschland, according to a statement on the German cable company’s website.

The deal puts Vodafone (Newbury, UK) in control of 76.57% of Kabel Deutschland’s (Unterfoehring, Germany) shares and will aid its push into Germany’s high-speed broadband market and allow it to better compete against telecoms incumbent Deutsche Telekom (Bonn, Germany) on bundled packages that include fixed, broadband and mobile services.

AT&T to scrap single-device tariffs for new customers

Mobile consumers taking a service from AT&T will soon find they have no option but to choose a so-called “shared data” plan, allowing them to connect a number of devices on a single monthly tariff.

The US operator is taking the radical step of phasing out other plans in what it describes as a response to current consumer preferences.

“In less than a year, our postpaid customers have connected more than 13 million devices via Mobile Share plans – and the number continues to grow daily,” said the operator in a blog post on its website.

Mexico government says recovers 68 percent of disputed 2.5GHz spectrum

Reuters

Mexico's government said on Monday it had reached a deal with concession-holders, including MVS Multivision, to recover 68 percent of available space in the country's disputed 2.5 GHz spectrum, which could boost competition in the telecoms sector.

The government decided to reclaim the spectrum after MVS (Mexico City, Mexico) and other companies failed to use it to develop high-speed networks. The issue had been tied up in legal wrangling for years.

Telefonica set to sell $3.6 billion Czech stake: sources

Reuters

Spanish telecoms group Telefonica has started preparing the sale of its $3.6 billion stake in its listed Czech unit, three sector bankers closely following the process but not directly involved said on Monday.

Telefonica (Madrid, Spain), which aims to cut its debt to under 47 billion euros ($64 billion) by the end of the year, has sold a number of assets to pay down borrowings, including its Irish business O2.

Analysts have long tipped Telefonica Czech Republic as an asset the group might shed. Telefonica reported net debt of 49.8 billion euros in mid-year results.

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