Spain's antitrust body said it fined telecoms companies Telefonica, Vodafone and France Telecom's Orange a record 120 million euros ($159 million) for charging too much for text messages.
The regulator said on Thursday Spain's three biggest mobile operators had exploited their dominant position between 2000 and 2009 and passed on overpriced services termination rates to consumers with high charges for text messages.
Ericsson is taking a $1.2 billion charge in a bid to write off its exposure to ST-Ericsson, adding to doubts over the future of the loss-making joint venture after partner STMicroelectronics said it was pulling out.
Ericsson (Stockholm, Sweden), the world's biggest equipment maker for mobile telecom networks, said on Thursday it would take the 8 billion Swedish crown hit in its fiscal fourth quarter in a move set to plunge it into a net loss for the three month period.
Sprint Corp promised to pay Clearwire Corp a $120 million breakup fee if its $2.2 billion purchase of roughly half of the smaller wireless service provider does not go ahead.
At the same time, Clearwire (Bellevue, USA) said on Tuesday it agreed to a "no-shop" provision, meaning it cannot seek other offers but could consider unsolicited offers.
Clearwire and Sprint (Overland Park, USA), its majority owner, announced details of their merger agreement in a regulatory filing the day after Sprint agreed buy out the rest of Clearwire for $2.97 per share.
The French government is concerned about Alcatel-Lucent's plan to use patents as collateral for a 1.6 billion euro ($2.1 billion) loan because the intellectual property could fall into the hands of foreign banks, Les Echos newspaper reported.
On Friday, the loss-making telecom equipment maker said it had agreed an asset-backed loan from Credit Suisse and Goldman Sachs to help it deal with upcoming debt maturities and fund its ongoing restructuring.
Belgian cable company Telenet remains opposed to a takeover bid from majority owner Liberty Global (LGI), with independent directors saying the offer price of €35 ($47) per share is too low.
In a statement quoted by Dow Jones Newswires, Telenet’s directors said “the current offer does not sufficiently reflect the value of the company and its prospects”. The statement went on to say the directors “would consider recommending an offer from LGI if it were made at a price between €39 and €40”.
Telefonica SA said on Tuesday it transferred about half of the shares of its Peruvian unit to its Latin American holding company in an internal deal worth $1.5 billion.
The move is part of a broader plan, which the Spanish telephony giant said this month it was considering, to list up to 15 percent of the firm that groups together its Latin American assets from a dozen countries.
The potential listing of the company, called Telefonica Latinoamerica Holding SL, could generate cash to pay down $7.8 billion in debt.
Clearwire Corp agreed to sell a roughly 50 percent stake for $2.2 billion to majority shareholder Sprint Nextel Corp, which would then have full ownership of spectrum that will help it offer high-speed wireless services.
The $2.97-per-share deal is only 7 cents per share higher than a bid many minority shareholders said was too low days before. Clearwire (Bellevue, USA) shares slid 9.8 percent to $3.04 in premarket trading.
Shares in Dutch telecoms group KPN, now part of Mexican tycoon Carlos Slim's empire, plunged as much as 15 percent after it cut its dividend for this year and next to meet the higher-than-expected cost of new mobile licenses.
A new player, Sweden's Tele2 (Stockholm, Sweden), also won licenses in Friday's Dutch auction of 4G wireless spectrum, a move likely to increase competition in one of Europe's most lucrative telecoms markets as the winners roll out faster services that allow users to watch video and surf the Internet on the move.
Japan’s Softbank says its board has approved the signing of a bridge loan contract for up to JPY1.65 trillion ($19.7 billion), which the company plans to use to fund its purchase of a controlling stake in US operator Sprint.
Softbank (Tokyo, Japan), Japan’s third-largest mobile-phone operator, announced plans to buy 70% of Sprint back in October for a fee of approximately $20 billion.
The deal would mark the largest foreign acquisition by a Japanese company of all time.
France Telecom’s Spanish subsidiary has taken over Simyo, a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) previously owned by KPN of the Netherlands.
The operator’s statement on the transaction did not disclose any financial details, but Spain’s El Economista says the fee was approximately €30 million ($40 million), citing sources close to the deal.
Simyo serves about 380,000 customers in Spain and will boost the subscriber base of Orange Spain – the brand under which France Telecom (Paris, France) operates in Spain – to some 12.2 million.