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Last week in telecoms: BT and Euskaltel focus of M&A rumours, while new entrants spook the markets

Last week in telecoms: BT and Euskaltel focus of M&A rumours, while new entrants spook the markets

There was a good deal of M&A news last week. It helped push the TP Stock Index European Telecoms up by 0.8 percent, still behind the EuroStoxx 50’s gain of 2.1 percent. The week’s absolute winner was Telekom Slovenije (+17%). Turkcell (+12%) and Turk Telekom (+8.6%) did well also, as the Turkish lira jumped. The casualties of week 3 included Italy’s Go Internet (-11%), Intelsat (-9.5%) and Altice Europe (-9.2%).

The M&A news came in different flavours.

Network investments are business-as-usual, but some initiatives stood out.

New entrants

Preparing for 5G, the Belgian government was forced to postpone the long awaited 5G auction to 2020 at the earliest. It may bring along a new market entrant, much to the dismay of the current network operators, Proximus, Telenet (-2.2%) and Orange Belgium (-1.7%). In Russia, Rostelecom (+0.6%) and MegaFon decided to band together for 5G.

In the Netherlands, VodafoneZiggo, the joint venture of Vodafone (-2.3%) and Liberty Global (+6.0%), added some pricing elements to its recent wholesale offer. This may, in time, bring new competitors to the market, using VodafoneZiggo’s cable network.

In Italy, another round a portfolio adjustments took place, apparently still related to last year’s market entry by Iliad. TIM launched a whole range of new options and Iliad Italia expanded its offerings as well.

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