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Nov 21, 2014

European telecom firms see brighter 2015 after years of pain

BARCELONA, Nov 21 (Reuters) – Top executives at Europe’s
telecoms firms dared to suggest this week that they might at
last be turning a corner after years of declining revenues, as
demand rises for 4G mobile broadband, regulatory pressures ease
and the industry consolidates.

For the network operators a comparative recovery on revenue
next year will come in part simply because the price cuts
imposed by regulators on roaming charges and the termination
fees operators charge for carrying each other’s traffic is now
behind them.

Nov 20, 2014

Liberty Global charts careful course for content deals

BARCELONA (Reuters) – Liberty Global, Europe’s biggest cable operator, plans to make “small, selective” acquisitions for content which help it make money from its core business of selling high-speed broadband and TV services, its finance chief said on Thursday.

Chief Financial Officer Charlie Bracken said the company had spent only about $300 million in cash on the content deals it had done so far.

Nov 20, 2014

Telefonica does not rule out a sale of O2 in the UK

BARCELONA, Nov 20 (Reuters) – Telefonica would have
to consider its options regarding its UK presence, including a
sale of the O2 business, if more of the market moves to bundling
fixed and mobile telecom services, a top executive said on
Thursday.

Telefonica, which bought O2 in 2006, has said the UK
business remains core but has not ruled out asset sales to meet
a year-end debt target of below 43 billion euros ($54 billion).

Nov 20, 2014

Altice could buy Bouygues Telecom in French consolidation deal- CEO

BARCELONA, Nov 20 (Reuters) – Numericable, which is
about to complete the acquisition of SFR, France’s second
biggest mobile network operator, is also open to buying SFR’s
smaller rival Bouygues Telecom, the chief executive of
Numericable’s owner said on Thursday.

“We see ourselves as the natural buyer (of Bouygues). We
have a huge revenue base so there would be big synergy
potential,” said Dexter Goei, chief executive of Altice
, at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media and Telecoms
Conference in Barcelona.

Nov 19, 2014

Ad agency Dentsu not aiming for any big acquisitions

BARCELONA, Nov 19 (Reuters) – Japanese advertising agency
Dentsu is not looking for any big acquisitions to spur
its growth in emerging markets and digital, the head of its
global operations outside Japan said on Wednesday.

“Acquisitions are not a strategy in and of themselves. They
need to back up our goal and complement where we are already
present,” Tim Andree, executive chairman of Dentsu Aegis
Network, told the annual Morgan Stanley Technology, Media and
Telecoms Conference in Barcelona.

Nov 19, 2014

Vodafone says open to more asset sales

BARCELONA, Nov 19 (Reuters) – Vodafone would be open
to selling off more non-core assets such as its interests in
Australia, Hungary and the Czech Republic if it received the
right offer, Chief Executive Vittorio Colao said on Wednesday.

The world’s second-largest mobile operator by user numbers
behind China Mobile, could also consider acquiring
exclusive media content to attract customers as part of its move
to become a full service telecoms provider. However, it is not
convinced of the need for such expensive content rights yet.

Nov 14, 2014

Vivendi outperforms in third quarter, big profits from disposals

PARIS (Reuters) – European media group Vivendi (VIV.PA: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) posted a rise in profit that beat expectations on Friday due to cost cutting and the performance of its music business, while it stayed mum on plans to use billions earned from selling telecoms units.

Vivendi, which is nearing the end of a strategy overhaul began in spring 2012, more than doubled the profits attributable to the group to 839 million euros in the third quarter, including the proceeds from selling Maroc Telecom (IAM.CS: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and a stake in headphone maker Beats.

Nov 14, 2014

Vivendi outperforms in Q3, big profits from disposals

PARIS, Nov 14 (Reuters) – European media group Vivendi
posted a rise in profit that beat expectations on
Friday due to cost cutting and the performance of its music
business, while it stayed mum on plans to use billions earned
from selling telecoms units.

Vivendi, which is nearing the end of a strategy overhaul
began in spring 2012, more than doubled the profits attributable
to the group to 839 million euros in the third quarter,
including the proceeds from selling Maroc Telecom and a
stake in headphone maker Beats.

Nov 13, 2014

Uber tests French tolerance with new car share scheme

PARIS (Reuters) – Parisians will be able to share rides with strangers by hailing cars via their smartphones from Friday, when fast-growing U.S. start-up Uber launches its new service in defiance of an imminent legal challenge.

Taxi drivers have complained that Uber has hit their business unfairly as it has expanded rapidly over the four years since its launch. The venture-capital backed firm valued at $18 billion now operates in 25 European cities and has sparked legal cases and taxi protests from London to Rome.

Nov 13, 2014

Wifirst inks contract with French luxury hotel group

PARIS, Nov 13 (Reuters) – French WiFi specialist Wifirst
has signed a contract to provide wireless broadband
services to 12 high-end hotels owned by the Lucien Barriere
Groupe, following a similar agreement with hotel chain Accor
in May.

Hotels are increasingly turning to smaller specialist
companies to build and operate broadband networks because of the
challenges of connecting hundreds of rooms while ensuring
security and reliable download speeds.