FCC abandons net neutrality talks

FCC abandons net neutrality talks
(Telecompaper) The US Federal Communications Commission has halted talks on net neutrality proposals with industry players after failing to reach a consensus on the regulations. The regulator was holding closed-door meetings with companies such as Verizon, AT&T, Google and Skype, as well as public-interest groups, to try and broker a deal on internet traffic management. Sources familiar with the discussions at the FCC told the Washington Post that reports of a deal between Verizon and Google on net neutrality upset participants in the meeting, who were moving closer to agreement on stronger rules against blocking and slowing traffic on mobile and fixed networks.
Eddie Lazarus, the chief of staff to the chairman of the FCC, confirmed the talks have stopped, saying “it has been productive on several fronts, but has not generated a robust framework to preserve the openness and freedom of the internet”. Meanwhile Google and Verizon issued statements denying a New York Times report that said Google was in talks over paying for priority carriage on Verizon’s network. Verizon said the article was “mistaken”, and Google said there were no discussions on paid carriage. Separately Bloomberg reported that the two companies had reached a deal to maintain net neutrality on fixed-line networks but not on mobile networks.[Lees verder]

Slim offers USD 2.6 bln for Brazil’s Net Servicos
(Telecompaper) Brazilian operator Embratel, controlled by Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim, has offered BRL 4.58 billion (approximately USD 2.61 billion) to acquire all the preferred stock it does not already own in Brazilian cable operator Net Servicos de Comunicacao. Embratel will offer BRL 23 per share, the company said in a regulatory filing. Carlos Slim’s America Movil controls 98 percent of Embratel’s stock through its Telmex unit. Embratel owns 37.9 percent of Net Servicos voting shares and about 13 percent of the preferred stock. Brazilian media conglomerate Globo Participacoes owns around 60 percent of Net Servicos’ voting stock and less than 1 percent of preferred shares, Reuters reports. The BlackRock and Cyrte Investments funds own nearly 85 percent of Net Servicos’ preferred stock.[Lees verder]

Telecom Italia posts Q2 net profit up 22%
(Telecompaper) Telecom Italia reported second-quarter revenues of EUR 6.810 billion, down from EUR 6.843 billion a year earlier. EBITDA was up 3.5 percent to EUR 2.907 billion, with the margin rising to 42.7 percent from 41.0, and net profit improved 22.2 percent to EUR 610 million, thanks to fewer one-time charges. The drop in revenues was due to the domestic operations, where mobile revenues fell to EUR 2.00 billion from EUR 2.25 billion last year and wireline sales declined to EUR 3.56 billion from EUR 3.72 billion. TIM Brasil was largely responsible for the improvement in group EBITDA in the quarter, as EBITDA in Italy fell to EUR 2.469 billion from EUR 2.515 billion. Telecom Italia said it was starting to see progress with its strategy of focusing on high-margin services and customers and cutting operating costs. Telecom Italia maintained its full-year outlook for organic revenues down 2-3 percent, after a comparable 5.1 percent decline in H1. Annual EBITDA, on an organic basis, is expected stable, versus a 0.2 percent fall in H1, while full-year capex is estimated at EUR 4.3 billion, after EUR 2.02 billion in H1. Telecom Italia also announced that in mid-July the operator made a payment of EUR 418 million to the Italian tax service, based on a assessment served Telecom Italia Sparkle on 7 July for non-deductible VAT of EUR 298 million, plus interest and penalties.[Lees verder]

3 Group H1 EBITDA up sharply, customer base grows 6%
(Telecompaper) Hutchison Whampoa’s mobile unit 3 Group reported EBITDA for the first half of 2010 of HKD 3.627 billion, up sharply from HKD 180 million a year earlier. The result was helped by one-time payments from suppliers of HKD 1.012 billion, as well as revenue growth and reduced costs. Revenues were up 13 percent year-on-year to HKD 29.859 billion; in local currencies, revenues improved 7 percent. The company said all operations achieved either reduced LBIT or a turnaround to EBIT positive results compared to the same period last year and as a result, LBIT for the 3 Group as a whole was reduced to HKD 998 million from HKD 5.451 billion a year earlier. The smaller operating loss was due in part to a reduction in amortisation of 3 UK’s licence costs of HKD 1.40 billion compared to the first half of 2009. Excluding this effect, LBIT reduced 56 percent and in local currencies, reduced 57 percent. Hutchison Whampoa said it expects the 3 Group to make a positive contribution to the company’s EBIT this year. 3 Group grew its customer base 6 percent over the first six months of 2010, and as of 4 August the company had 26.051 million subscribers, of which just over half were postpaid. The number of mobile broadband subscribers grew 16 percent over H1 to 5.0 million. Average revenue per active user, on a 12-month trailing basis, increased by 1 percent to EUR 28.58 compared to full year 2009. Excluding the effect of the depreciation of euro against other European currencies and the Australian dollar, ARPU decreased 4 percent compared to full year 2009, mainly due to an increased proportion of mobile broadband customers.[Lees verder]

Navx case leads Google to overhaul AdWords criteria
(Telecompaper) French data protection agency Cnil’s requests for more transparency in Google’s AdWords service regarding its ban on sponsored links to French mobile traffic information provider Navx’s website, Google has partly clarified its method. The internet giant bans key word links for purveyors of miracle cures, university term papers and fireworks kits, for example, and every country has its own rules, writes business daily Les Echos. AdWords has a 90 percent share of France’s sponsored links market. The regulator decided to take up the cause of the SME, which was blocked for selling maps showing speed radars or ‘traps’, a significant influence on traffic behaviour. Cnil gave Google five days to explain its logic. The company made changes to its criteria, which will now be published on the website and sent to every company in the sectors affected. In response to Navx’s issue, Adwords said in the second week of July that it would allow advertising for ‘radar detection software and databases’ in France and Poland. Ads for physical radar detectors that beep or light up when near a speed radar are still banned. Other changes in criteria in the last few weeks have resulted in allowing ads for abortion services in Spain and, for a start, blocking political ads during upcoming elections in Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru.[Lees verder]

FCC abandons net neutrality talks
(Telecompaper) The US Federal Communications Commission has halted talks on net neutrality proposals with industry players after failing to reach a consensus on the regulations. The regulator was holding closed-door meetings with companies such as Verizon, AT&T, Google and Skype, as well as public-interest groups, to try and broker a deal on internet traffic management. Sources familiar with the discussions at the FCC told the Washington Post that reports of a deal between Verizon and Google on net neutrality upset participants in the meeting, who were moving closer to agreement on stronger rules against blocking and slowing traffic on mobile and fixed networks.
Eddie Lazarus, the chief of staff to the chairman of the FCC, confirmed the talks have stopped, saying “it has been productive on several fronts, but has not generated a robust framework to preserve the openness and freedom of the internet”. Meanwhile Google and Verizon issued statements denying a New York Times report that said Google was in talks over paying for priority carriage on Verizon’s network. Verizon said the article was “mistaken”, and Google said there were no discussions on paid carriage. Separately Bloomberg reported that the two companies had reached a deal to maintain net neutrality on fixed-line networks but not on mobile networks.[Lees verder]

Slim offers USD 2.6 bln for Brazil’s Net Servicos
(Telecompaper) Brazilian operator Embratel, controlled by Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim, has offered BRL 4.58 billion (approximately USD 2.61 billion) to acquire all the preferred stock it does not already own in Brazilian cable operator Net Servicos de Comunicacao. Embratel will offer BRL 23 per share, the company said in a regulatory filing. Carlos Slim’s America Movil controls 98 percent of Embratel’s stock through its Telmex unit. Embratel owns 37.9 percent of Net Servicos voting shares and about 13 percent of the preferred stock. Brazilian media conglomerate Globo Participacoes owns around 60 percent of Net Servicos’ voting stock and less than 1 percent of preferred shares, Reuters reports. The BlackRock and Cyrte Investments funds own nearly 85 percent of Net Servicos’ preferred stock.[Lees verder]

Telecom Italia posts Q2 net profit up 22%
(Telecompaper) Telecom Italia reported second-quarter revenues of EUR 6.810 billion, down from EUR 6.843 billion a year earlier. EBITDA was up 3.5 percent to EUR 2.907 billion, with the margin rising to 42.7 percent from 41.0, and net profit improved 22.2 percent to EUR 610 million, thanks to fewer one-time charges. The drop in revenues was due to the domestic operations, where mobile revenues fell to EUR 2.00 billion from EUR 2.25 billion last year and wireline sales declined to EUR 3.56 billion from EUR 3.72 billion. TIM Brasil was largely responsible for the improvement in group EBITDA in the quarter, as EBITDA in Italy fell to EUR 2.469 billion from EUR 2.515 billion. Telecom Italia said it was starting to see progress with its strategy of focusing on high-margin services and customers and cutting operating costs. Telecom Italia maintained its full-year outlook for organic revenues down 2-3 percent, after a comparable 5.1 percent decline in H1. Annual EBITDA, on an organic basis, is expected stable, versus a 0.2 percent fall in H1, while full-year capex is estimated at EUR 4.3 billion, after EUR 2.02 billion in H1. Telecom Italia also announced that in mid-July the operator made a payment of EUR 418 million to the Italian tax service, based on a assessment served Telecom Italia Sparkle on 7 July for non-deductible VAT of EUR 298 million, plus interest and penalties.[Lees verder]

3 Group H1 EBITDA up sharply, customer base grows 6%
(Telecompaper) Hutchison Whampoa’s mobile unit 3 Group reported EBITDA for the first half of 2010 of HKD 3.627 billion, up sharply from HKD 180 million a year earlier. The result was helped by one-time payments from suppliers of HKD 1.012 billion, as well as revenue growth and reduced costs. Revenues were up 13 percent year-on-year to HKD 29.859 billion; in local currencies, revenues improved 7 percent. The company said all operations achieved either reduced LBIT or a turnaround to EBIT positive results compared to the same period last year and as a result, LBIT for the 3 Group as a whole was reduced to HKD 998 million from HKD 5.451 billion a year earlier. The smaller operating loss was due in part to a reduction in amortisation of 3 UK’s licence costs of HKD 1.40 billion compared to the first half of 2009. Excluding this effect, LBIT reduced 56 percent and in local currencies, reduced 57 percent. Hutchison Whampoa said it expects the 3 Group to make a positive contribution to the company’s EBIT this year. 3 Group grew its customer base 6 percent over the first six months of 2010, and as of 4 August the company had 26.051 million subscribers, of which just over half were postpaid. The number of mobile broadband subscribers grew 16 percent over H1 to 5.0 million. Average revenue per active user, on a 12-month trailing basis, increased by 1 percent to EUR 28.58 compared to full year 2009. Excluding the effect of the depreciation of euro against other European currencies and the Australian dollar, ARPU decreased 4 percent compared to full year 2009, mainly due to an increased proportion of mobile broadband customers.[Lees verder]

Navx case leads Google to overhaul AdWords criteria
(Telecompaper) French data protection agency Cnil’s requests for more transparency in Google’s AdWords service regarding its ban on sponsored links to French mobile traffic information provider Navx’s website, Google has partly clarified its method. The internet giant bans key word links for purveyors of miracle cures, university term papers and fireworks kits, for example, and every country has its own rules, writes business daily Les Echos. AdWords has a 90 percent share of France’s sponsored links market. The regulator decided to take up the cause of the SME, which was blocked for selling maps showing speed radars or ‘traps’, a significant influence on traffic behaviour. Cnil gave Google five days to explain its logic. The company made changes to its criteria, which will now be published on the website and sent to every company in the sectors affected. In response to Navx’s issue, Adwords said in the second week of July that it would allow advertising for ‘radar detection software and databases’ in France and Poland. Ads for physical radar detectors that beep or light up when near a speed radar are still banned. Other changes in criteria in the last few weeks have resulted in allowing ads for abortion services in Spain and, for a start, blocking political ads during upcoming elections in Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru.[Lees verder]