European Technology, Media and Telecoms Correspondent
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Aug 2, 2013

Mobile Austria challenges spectrum auction terms

VIENNA, Aug 2 (Reuters) – T-Mobile Austria has filed a
challenge to the terms of an auction due to be held in September
for frequencies that will enable operators to build
fourth-generation (4G) networks, its lawyer said.

The move may create uncertainty around the auction for the
4G Long-Term Evolution (LTE) networks, which aims to raise at
least 526 million euros ($698 million) and is necessary before
4G networks can be rolled out nationwide.

Jul 31, 2013

Power market upheaval sends Verbund into quarterly loss

VIENNA, July 31 (Reuters) – Austrian hydropower company
Verbund AG fell to a second-quarter operating loss on
large writedowns and said it could not rule out further
impairment charges due to upheaval in electricity markets.

Verbund made an operating loss of 323 million euros ($428
million) against a profit of 188 million a year earlier as it
struggled to compete with heavily subsidised renewable energy
sources.

Jul 30, 2013

Erste Bank says Hungarian ordeal may be over

VIENNA (Reuters) – Austria’s Erste Group Bank (ERST.VI: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) said it hoped the worst was behind it in Hungary, where the government was taking a more conciliatory tone towards foreign banks to help its economy.

Banks in Hungary have taken a collective hit of 3.6 billion euros ($4.8 billion) since Viktor Orban’s government began an unpredictable programme of bank taxes and forced loan subsidies in 2010.

Jul 25, 2013

Irish watchdog won’t probe U.S. firms over Prism

VIENNA, July 25 (Reuters) – A watchdog in Ireland, home to
the European headquarters of Apple and Facebook,
says it will not investigate them for transferring personal data
to a U.S. spy agency because they have signed up to EU privacy
principles.

The Irish Office of the Data Protection Commissioner (ODPC),
had been challenged by an Austrian student activist group to
investigate allegations that the U.S. National Security Agency
harvests emails and other private data from the companies in a
mass electronic surveillance programme known as Prism.

Jun 26, 2013

TAP to carry Azeri gas via Greece as Austria loses out

VIENNA/LONDON, June 26 (Reuters) – The group developing
Azerbaijan’s vast gas reserves has chosen the Trans Adriatic
Pipeline (TAP) via Greece to link to Europe, officials said on
Wednesday, defeating the Nabucco West consortium which had
backed a route to Austria.

The project, first envisioned more than a decade ago, is
part of a European Union push for alternatives to Russian gas
imports and is expected to start flowing in 2019.

Jun 26, 2013

Political will and big spending put Austrians to work

VIENNA, June 26 (Reuters) – Sebastian Liedl is 17, and in
half a year will be a fully qualified employee at the Austrian
steel group Voestalpine, where he can look forward to
a starting monthly wage of about 2,000 euros ($2,600).

Unlike his contemporaries in Greece, Spain or Portugal,
Liedl has never feared unemployment. He always knew he wanted to
follow in the footsteps of his father and grandfather at Voest,
where he is part of an extensive apprenticeship programme.

Jun 12, 2013

Verbund takes 1 bln euros writedown as power prices fall

VIENNA, June 12 (Reuters) – Austrian hydropower firm Verbund
said it would write down its assets by 1.13 billion
euros ($1.5 billion) and cut investments again as electricity
markets deteriorated sharply.

Verbund said it expected 2013 earnings before interest, tax,
depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of 1.15 billion euros, up
from its previous estimate of 1 billion, due to cash inflows and
non-recurring effects from an asset swap with E.ON.

Jun 7, 2013

U.S. surveillance revelations deepen European fears of Web giants

VIENNA/BRUSSELS, June 7 (Reuters) – Europeans reacted
angrily on Friday to revelations that U.S. authorities had
tapped the servers of Internet companies for personal data,
saying such activity confirmed their worst fears about American
Web giants’ reach and showed tighter regulations were needed.

The Washington Post and the Guardian newspapers aroused
broad outrage with reports that the National Security Agency
(NSA) and the FBI had accessed central servers of Google
, Facebook and other big Internet companies and
gathered millions of phone users’ data.

Jun 7, 2013

U.S. surveillance revelations deepen European fears

VIENNA/BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Europeans reacted angrily on Friday to revelations that U.S. authorities had tapped the servers of internet companies for personal data, saying they confirmed their worst fears about American Web giants and showed tighter regulations were needed.

The Washington Post and the Guardian aroused outrage with reports that the National Security Agency (NSA) and FBI had accessed central servers of Google, Facebook and others and gathered millions of phone users’ data.

May 28, 2013

Russian gas pipeline could doom Europe’s Nabucco plan

VIENNA/BRUSSELS, May 28 (Reuters) – Europe’s grand plan for
a gas pipeline from the Caspian Sea that would make its eastern
states less reliant on Russia may have been fatally undermined
by Russia’s even bigger project.

As Azerbaijan nears a decision on which pipeline to choose
for its future exports, the Nabucco plan that was long the
European Union favourite could lose out to the more modest Trans
Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) across Greece to southern Italy.

    • About Georgina

      "Currently based in London, with particular responsibility for professional publishers and the European activities of global technology, media and telecoms firms. Previously European technology correspondent based in Frankfurt. Began career in local radio in Glasgow and then worked in TV news for many years for Reuters, the BBC and Sky News in London and Moscow."
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