Financial

Telekom Austria linked with $1.3 billion bid for Serbia Broadband: Bloomberg

Austrian telecoms incumbent Telekom Austria has been linked with a €1 billion ($1.3 billion) bid for cable company Serbia Broadband in a report from Bloomberg.

Citing sources familiar with the proceedings, Bloomberg says that Telekom Austria (Vienna, Austria) has re-entered bidding for the Serbian company, after dropping off a list of companies examining Serbia Broadband’s (Belgrade, Serbia) books, with other interested parties said to include Providence Equity Partners, Cinven Advisers and Altice Finco.

Canada's telecoms to change tack in anti-Verizon crusade: sources

Reuters

Canada's three biggest wireless companies plan to attack Verizon Communications Inc's role in the U.S. government's electronic spying scandal, as they scramble to force Ottawa to rethink rules that encourage Verizon to set up in Canada, according to four sources.

The Canadian government has so far spurned an intense lobbying effort from the trio - Rogers Communications (Toronto, Canada), BCE Inc (Montreal, Canada) and Telus Corp (Burnaby, Canada) - by insisting its policies will cut Canadians' wireless bills.

Cisco cutting 4,000 jobs, CEO sees slow progress

Reuters

Network equipment maker Cisco Systems Inc is cutting 4,000 jobs, or 5 percent of its workforce, as it makes a fresh attempt to reduce costs and refocus on growth areas in the face of uncertain demand for its networking equipment.

Shares of the world's biggest network equipment maker fell more than 9 percent after hours, their biggest drop in more than a year if reflected on Nasdaq on Thursday.

Dutch foundation threatens to block America Movil bid for KPN

An independent Dutch foundation has expressed concern about the proposed acquisition of KPN by Latin American telecoms giant America Movil, casting doubt over the likelihood of a takeover, reports Reuters.

Owned by Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim, America Movil (Mexico City, Mexico) last week announced plans for a €7.2 billion ($9.56 billion) takeover of the Dutch telecoms incumbent, in which it currently holds a 30% share.

Singtel blames Australia for sales decline, but profits grow

Singaporean telecoms incumbent SingTel has seen a healthy rise in net profit for the three months ending June despite reporting a fall in revenues it blamed on a “more cautious business environment” and weakness in the Australian mobile market.

Singtel’s net income was up by 7%, to SGD1.01 billion ($796 million), compared with the same period of 2012, thanks to the operator’s efforts to cut costs and despite ongoing investments in spectrum, networks and its digital businesses.

MTN adds 12 million customers despite first-half challenges

Pan-African operator MTN Group saw profits and revenues for the first half of the year buoyed by continuing subscriber growth despite pricing pressure across most of its markets.

Profits after tax rose by 19%, to ZAR14.55 billion ($1.46 billion), compared with the same period of 2012, while revenues were up by 9.8%, to ZAR65.25 billion.

Meanwhile, the company’s overall subscriber base grew by 6.5%, compared with end-June 2012, to 201.5 million customers.

Indonesian minister backs XL Axiata takeover of Axis

Indonesian authorities have said they will support Saudi Telecom’s sale of its majority stake in Axis to local rival XL Axiata, reports The Jakarta Post.

The deal would see XL Axiata (Jakarta, Indonesia), owned by Malaysia’s Axiata Group (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia), bolster its position as the country’s third-biggest operator and close the gap on number-two rival Indosat (Jakarta, Indonesia), owned by Qatari incumbent Ooredoo (Doha, Qatar).

Slim-backed Telekom Austria and KPN form network pact

Reuters

Telekom Austria and Dutch group KPN, the European rivals in which Mexican tycoon Carlos Slim has invested, have joined forces to offer internet-based data services to wholesale and large business customers, they said on Tuesday.

The two companies are combining their infrastructure to create a "backbone" optic fiber network across 35 countries whereby Telekom Austria (Vienna, Austria) can use KPN's (The Hague, Netherlands) network for its customers in western Europe and KPN can use Telekom Austria's network in central and eastern Europe.

EU questions how Italy telecom watchdog set broadband prices

Reuters

The European Commission has questioned the way Italian telecoms watchdog AGCOM arrived at changes planned to wholesale broadband prices, claiming the move could cramp the ability of market players to decide on prices in Italy.

In a statement on Monday, the Commission said it had invoked the EU review mechanism over the move, adding it would discuss with AGCOM how to amend its proposal over the next three months.

BlackBerry may put itself up for sale

Reuters

Struggling smartphone maker BlackBerry Ltd is weighing options that could include an outright sale, it said on Monday, and its largest shareholder is stepping down from its board to avoid any possible conflict of interest.

BlackBerry (Waterloo, Canada), which pioneered mobile email with its first smartphones and email pagers, said on Monday it had set up a committee to review its options, sparking a debate over whether Canada's one-time crown jewel is more valuable as a whole or snapped up piece by piece by competitors or private investors.

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