Nytex

In Brief:Questions over Italy merger as EU prepares to object 

The European Commission will publish a statement of objections to CK Hutchison and Vimpelcom's plan to merge their Italian telecoms business in June.The document will contain details of the Commission's concerns about the impact of the €21.8 billion merger on competition in the Italian mobile marke.The statement of objections is not an unusual occurrence when it comes to major European mergers and does not necessarily mean that the deal will be blocked.

***France's SFR is gearing up to enter the content space by purchasing various media assets owned by parent company Altice.The telco has agreed to acquire Altice's 49% stake in Groupe News Participation, parent company of French media group NextRadioTV. The other 51% of Groupe News Participation is held by NextRadioTV founder and CEO Alain Weill, who agreed to form the joint venture with Altice in July 2015.NextRadioTV owns TV station BFMTV and radio station RMC. It also owns various TV channels and Websites covering subjects such as news, sport and documentaries.The transaction iof NextRadio TV is valued at €741 million.

***The Inter-American Association of Telecommunications Companies (ASIET) has expressed concern about Ecuador's plan to implement a special consumption tax at a rate of 15 percent on mobile and fixed telephony services. The ASIET warned that the implementation of such a measure in the mid-term would have serious consequences on the development of Ecuador's economy. The association pointed out that SMEs, which make a large contribution to the country's economy, would be severely affected by the decline in the adoption of ICT as a consequence of the tax.

***Zain Sudan, the local mobile unit of Kuwait-based Zain Group, has become the first operator to announce the commercial launch of 4G LTE services in the country. Under the first phase of its rollout, 4G network coverage will be extended across the capital Khartoum, Medani, Port Sudan and El Obeid, in cooperation with Swedish equipment vendor Ericsson, in order to reach around 20% of the population. Zain will then also work with China’s Huawei to expand LTE services to other regional centres of Sudan. Almost 300 4G sites have already been switched on, with 15 towns and cities set to gain coverage of the high speed network by the end of June, rising to 21 by the close of 2016. Mobile market leader Zain was awarded its LTE licence by local regulator the National Telecommunication Corporation (NTC) in February this year.

***T-Mobile surprises market with profit hike
*du expands Polystar services to VoLTE and IMS
*Singtel launches cyber security institute
*Verizon reveals biggest OpenStack cloud build
*Madeira calls for Brazil-Portugual cable to be diverted to islands