Microsoft swallows Nokia's phone business for $7.2 billion


Microsoft Corp will buy Nokia's phone business and license its patents for 5.44 billion euros ($7.2 billion), a bold foray into mobile devices that also brings potential chief executive contender Stephen Elop back into the fold.

Two years after hitching its fate to Microsoft's (Seattle, WA, USA) Windows Phone software, the Finnish phone maker that once dominated the global market collapsed into the arms of the U.S. software giant, its mobile business ravaged by nimbler rivals Apple Inc (Cupertino, CA, USA) and Samsung Electronics (Seoul, South Korea).

Gemalto profits rise on M2M diversification

Mobile communications and M2M player Gemalto has realized impressive gains in revenues and profit for the first half of 2013 thanks in part to a better product mix at its M2M division.

The company saw overall revenues increase by 11% over the same period of 2012, to €1.13 billion ($1.49 billion), while net profit rose by 9.3%, to €105 million.

“Gemalto [Amsterdam, Netherlands] recorded another strong semester of profitable growth, more than offsetting increased investments in operations made in the second part of last year,” said Olivier Piou, Gemalto’s chief executive.

Option swings to net loss on licensing upset

M2M gateway developer Option has swung to a massive loss and witnessed a huge decline in revenues following the expiration of a licensing agreement with China’s Huawei.

The Belgian company reported a net loss of €7 million ($9.22 million) for the first half of the year, compared with a net profit of €3.67 million for the same period of 2012, and saw revenues fall to just €5.15 million from €23.28 million over the same period.

Verizon poised for historic $130 billion Vodafone deal


Verizon Communications was poised on Monday to finally take full control of its U.S. wireless business with a $130 billion deal that would buy out Vodafone and bring an end to a decade-long corporate standoff.

The British firm said late on Sunday it was in advanced talks with Verizon (New York City, NY, USA) to sell its 45 percent stake in the Verizon Wireless joint venture for cash and common shares in what would be the world's third-largest deal of all time.

America Movil threatens to scrap KPN takeover bid


America Movil threatened to abandon its bid for Dutch telecom KPN on Friday, saying it has no plans to raise the 7.2 billion euro ($9.5 billion) offer, after a foundation representing KPN told the Mexican firm to improve its proposal or face a veto.

The foundation, an independent group of former Dutch companies' executives tasked with protecting KPN (The Hague, Netherlands) stakeholders, bought almost 50 percent of KPN's voting stock late on Thursday, moving to block the deal.

LightSquared proposes reorganization, asset sale: reports

Beleaguered mobile broadband operator LightSquared has filed a “reorganization plan” with the US Banktupcy Court in Manhattan that proposes a sale of assets as a means of overcoming its difficulties, reports Dow Jones Newswires.

The operator filed for bankruptcy protection in May 2012, following a government ruling that its spectrum would interfere with global positioning systems, and since then has made concessions on spectrum sharing that it hopes will convince authorities its network can be used.

Bharti Airtel lead contender for Loop Mobile takeover: Times of India

Bharti Airtel is the lead contender to acquire Mumbai operator Loop Mobile, according to various sources cited by the Times of India.

A report from the Indian publication claims that negotiations between Bharti Airtel (New Delhi, India) and Loop’s (Mumbai, India) current owners – Dubai-based IP Khaitan and family – have recently gathered momentum.

However, Bharti Airtel wants further clarity on the renewal fee for Loop’s license, which is due to expire in September 2014, before it begins discussions about the valuation of the business.

Finland's DNA on lookout for new CEO

Finnish operator DNA has announced that chief executive Riita Tiurnaniemi is to leave the company and says it hopes to find a replacement by the end of the year.

In a statement, DNA (Helsinki, Finland) said Tiurnaniemi’s successor would need to be a dynamic leader with a clear vision about future opportunities for the company, which operates Finland’s third-biggest mobile network and lies in joint third place in the country’s broadband market.

Three UK scraps roaming fees

UK mobile operator Three has made the bold move of scrapping the additional fees that customers pay to use phone services when travelling in a number of foreign countries.

Through its new ‘Feel at Home’ service, customers will be able to use voice, messaging and data services at their normal monthly rates when travelling to seven countries, including the Republic of Ireland, Australia, Italy, Austria, Hong Kong, Sweden and Denmark.

Subscribers will only start to incur additional ‘roaming’ fees in those countries if they exceed their monthly usage limits.

Canada's Harper says wireless rules do not favor foreign players


Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper on Thursday disputed claims by his country's leading wireless companies that his government's telecommunications rules give unfair advantages to foreign players like Verizon Communications Inc.

Canada's three biggest wireless companies - Rogers Communications (Toronto, Canada), BCE Inc (Montreal, Canada) and Telus Corp (Burnaby, Canada) - are asking the Conservative government to rethink its rules for next January's auction of wireless spectrum, saying the playing field is slanted in favor of a Verizon (New York City, NY, USA).

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