Financial

Orange boss says European regulation weakens sector: report

Orange chief executive Stephane Richard has lashed out at European regulators, claiming their opposition to consolidation is weakening the sector, in an interview with French newspaper Le Figaro.

The boss of France’s biggest telecoms operator believes there are too many operators and that mergers and acquisitions should be allowed, while also arguing for a single European regulator instead of numerous national regulatory authorities.

Smartphone laggard Nokia picks up pace under CEO Elop

Reuters

Nokia CEO Stephen Elop recalls a meeting in August 2011 in which the company's leadership struggled to decide on the name of its new smartphone, the first using Windows Phone software.

"We almost fell into the trap that had often befallen Nokia [Helsinki, Finland], which was... let them work on it a bit longer because we couldn't quite reach agreement," Elop said. Instead, he demanded a decision that day.

"Why wait till tomorrow or next week? We could make the decision today. And we did." Lumia was the result.

Vodafone sees no let-up from European woes

Reuters

Vodafone said it did not expect any let-up in the pressures weighing on its business, as the world's second-largest mobile operator reported first-quarter results hit by regulation and recession across Europe.

The British group, which has been battling regulator-ordered price cuts, economic pressures and competition throughout its European markets, said on Friday it expected the next three months to follow broadly the same trends after reporting yet another sharp drop in its key revenue measurement.

Verizon quarterly revenue misses estimate, shares drop

Reuters

Verizon Communications Inc said strength in its wireless business was tempered by weakness in its traditional wireline unit, producing softer-than-expected revenue growth for the quarter and sending its shares down nearly 2 percent.

The telecommunications company said on Thursday that corporate and government customers were cutting costs, partly offsetting better-than-estimated wireless customer growth. Also, wireless profit margins were hurt by higher costs.

Liberty Global abandons efforts to acquire Kabel Deutschland: report

Liberty Global has given up efforts to acquire Kabel Deutschland, recently the target of a €7.7 billion ($10.1 billion) offer from Vodafone, and will instead focus takeover efforts on the southern Europe region, reports Bloomberg.

Liberty’s (Meridian, CO, USA) interest had forced Vodafone (Newbury, UK) to raise the price of its original offer but the UK operator now looks free to complete its move for Germany’s biggest cable company later this year.

Orange mulling $1.2 billion sale of Dominican business: report

French incumbent operator Orange is mulling a possible sale of its business in the Dominican Republic, according to a report from Reuters.

The assets could reportedly raise as much as €900 million ($1.2 billion) that Orange (Paris, France) could use to reduce its substantial pile of debt.

Sources claim the operator is in discussions with several banks and due to appoint a financial adviser in the next few days, according to Reuters.

TeliaSonera prioritizes 4G investments with sales down 3.9%

Sweden’s TeliaSonera said it will prioritize investment in 4G coverage expansion after reporting a return to organic revenue growth for the three months to June 2013.

The operator said revenue for the second quarter fell by 3.9%, to SEK25.3 billion ($3.85 billion), but blamed the impact of regulatory cuts to interconnection rates as well as exchange rate fluctuations for the decline.

Net income for the group dropped by 16.9%, to SEK4 billion, due largely to the effect of non-recurring items related to efficiency measures.

AT&T follows T-Mobile US with more frequent device upgrades

Reuters

AT&T Inc customers will be able to upgrade phones once a year instead of waiting two years under a new option that involves monthly device payments as AT&T defends itself against challenges from T-Mobile US.

AT&T's (Dallas, TX, USA) latest offering, which will not require upfront device fees, comes as the No. 2 U.S. mobile provider strives to regain the market share it has been losing to market leader Verizon Wireless (New York City, NY, USA), and to fight back against tougher competition from smaller rivals like fourth-ranked T-Mobile US (Bellevue, WA, USA).

T-Mobile to compete for Leap users 'the old fashioned way': executive

Reuters

T-Mobile US hopes to win over Leap Wireless customers by competing for them "the old fashioned way," a top executive for T-Mobile US said on Tuesday.

Some analysts had speculated that T-Mobile (Bellevue, WA, USA) or another company could make a counteroffer for Leap (San Diego, CA, USA), after AT&T Inc's (Dallas, TX, USA) proposed purchase of Leap for $1.2 billion, or $15 per share.

T-Mobile US Chief Marketing Officer Mike Sievert declined to say whether his company would put in a bid for Leap.

NEC talks on Lenovo mobile phone venture stalled: report

Reuters

Japanese electronics company NEC Corp's talks with Lenovo Group Ltd over a mobile phone venture have stalled due to disagreements over majority ownership and patents, a source familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.

The Nikkei business newspaper reported that NEC (Tokyo, Japan) planned to exit its loss-making smartphone business after a mobile phone deal with Lenovo (Beijing, China), already a partner in the personal computer business, failed to materialize.

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