Financial

Falcone's Harbinger sues Dish Network's Ergen over LightSquared

Reuters

Phil Falcone's hedge fund sued satellite TV mogul Charlie Ergen and his Dish Network Corp (Meridian, CO, USA) for $4 billion on Tuesday for an alleged loan-trading scheme aimed at stripping Falcone of his control over LightSquared Inc, a bankrupt wireless communications business.

The lawsuit in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan was filed on Tuesday at the same time as Ergen was confirming on an earnings call with Dish investors that the company was interested in acquiring LightSquared (Reston, VA, USA).

Soros-backed telecom venture to invest over $200 million in Brazil

Reuters

A new Brazilian telecommunications company backed by billionaire financier George Soros plans to invest at least 500 million reais ($218 million) over the next three years, executives said on Tuesday, ramping up competition among Internet providers in a cooling market.

Soros is set to invest at least $150 million, giving him a majority stake in On Telecom, which offers home and office connections over fourth-generation (4G) cellular networks, Chief Executive Fares Nassar told journalists.

Dish's Ergen sees T-Mobile US as only M&A possibility

Reuters

Dish Network (Meridian, CO, USA) founder and Chairman Charlie Ergen said on Tuesday that his preference would be for a network partnership in wireless and that T-Mobile US (Bellevue, WA, USA) could be his only option left as an acquisition or merger target.

"I think there's a lot of options for us in the wireless business," Ergen said in response to analyst questions on a quarterly earnings call.

(Reporting by Sinead Carew and Liana Baker; Editing by Maureen Bavdek)

Sierra Wireless narrows losses in first quarter as "M2M pure-play"

M2M module maker Sierra Wireless has reported a narrowing of its net loss from continuing operations in its first quarter as a “pure-play” M2M company on the back of strong growth in revenues.

In GAAP terms, the company’s net loss from continuing operations was $6.74 million for the three months ending June 2013, compared with a loss of $8.87 million for the same period last year.

Revenues, meanwhile, grew by an impressive 14.9% over the same period, to $109.6 million.

Telecom Italia swings to $1.86 billion net loss in first half

Telecom Italia has swung to a net loss of €1.4 billion ($1.86 billion) for the first six months of 2013, compared with a net profit of €1.2 billion for the same period last year, due to goodwill write-downs totaling €2.2 billion.

Even excluding the impact of the write-downs, profits would have been 33% lower than over the first half of 2012 with sales under pressure at home and in the operator’s Latin American markets.

Revenues for the first half of the year totaled €13.76 billion, down 2.7% in organic terms compared with the first six months of 2012.

Leap Wireless sees net loss widen on customer defections

Struggling US mobile operator Leap Wireless has reported a widening of second-quarter losses owing to debt repayments and dwindling revenues as its customer base shrinks.

The operator – recently the target of a $1.2 billion takeover bid from AT&T (Dallas, TX, USA) that has yet to secure regulatory approval – saw its net loss grow to $156.4 million for the three months ending June 2013, from $46 million in the year-earlier quarter.

Revenues, meanwhile, shrank by 7% over the same period, to $731.5 million.

Ericsson and STMicroelectronics complete ST-Ericsson split

Ericsson and STMicroelectronics have announced the completion of the process to split up ST-Ericsson, the troubled mobile chip joint venture they founded in 2008.

Having reported a sequence of losses since it came into existence, ST-Ericsson (Geneva, Switzerland) was marked for closure by its parents in March this year after failing to attract interest from prospective buyers.

Reliance Communications earnings point to reduction in competition

Reliance Communications, India’s third-biggest mobile operator, has reported a 33% decline in profits for the three months ending June 2013, to INR1.08 billion ($17.8 million), despite growing revenues by 1%, to INR53.15 billion, over the same period.

The sales improvement comes amid a lessening of competition in India’s mobile market and follows encouraging signals from Bharti Airtel (New Delhi, India), the country’s leading player, and Idea Cellular (Mumbai, India), another rival.

Telefonica, Yoigo to share 4G, broadband in Spain

Reuters

Spain's biggest telecoms operator Telefonica signed a deal with No. 4 provider Yoigo on Thursday allowing it to use its rival's superfast mobile Internet frequencies in exchange for access to its broadband assets.

Telefonica (Madrid, Spain), the only operator in Spain that does not currently provide 4G services, will have full use of Yoigo's (Alcobendas, Spain) superfast spectrum, while the smaller player will now be able to compete in the attractive market of bundling fixed-line and mobile telephone services.

Vodafone restructures to create one European unit

Reuters

Vodafone said on Thursday it would merge its northern, central and southern European regions into one unit which will be led by Philipp Humm.

Under the reorganization to take place on October 1, the group's successful Turkish division will fit into the Africa, Middle East and Asia-Pacific unit.

Paolo Bertoluzzo, currently the head of southern Europe, will become the group's commercial and operations officer. Humm had been the head of northern and central Europe for the British mobile operator.

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