Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Nokia offers cloud-friendly data processing; UK infrastructure czar slams mobile coverage; Deutsche Telekom invests in e-health startup.
French aerospace company Thales SA (Paris: TCFP.PA) has received unanimous backing from the board of Gemalto for its $5.6 billion bid for the Dutch SIM card maker after last week's unsolicited bid from Atos -- worth $5.1 billion -- failed to win the target company's approval. As Bloomberg reports, Atos responded to this new development by saying that it will no longer pursue Gemalto but made it clear that it would "remain available" for discussions with the company should the Thales deal fall through. Atos had hoped that a merger with Gemalto would help it become a real force in the market for cybersecurity and IoT products. (See Eurobites: Gemalto Spurns Atos Bid and Atos Bids €4.3B for Gemalto to Create Security, IoT Giant.)
Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK)'s €347 million ($369 million) takeover of OSS specialist Comptel earlier this year has borne fruit in the form of a new data processing offering, called Nokia Data Refinery. A reworked version of the Comptel Data Refinery, NDR adds support for cloud-ready automated deployment, allowing, says the vendor, service providers to deliver "digital services and operate with web-scale efficiency." (See Nokia's Buying Comptel: What the Analysts Say)
The head of the UK's National Infrastructure Commission, Lord Adonis, has called on the country's telecom regulator to take "urgent and radical action" to improve mobile coverage, the BBC reports. The call comes in the wake of Ofcom 's Connected Nations 2017 report last week, which found that 30% of the UK's land mass cannot receive any form of mobile signal, while 57% of the country (by geography) does not have 4G coverage. On the fixed-line front, the Ofcom report also found that around 1.1 million UK homes and offices still cannot get a "decent" -- i.e. a download speed of at least 10 Mbit/s -- broadband connection.
Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT) is supporting e-health startup TeleClinic to the tune of €100,000 ($118,000), which TeleClinic will receive in the form of a credit for computing and storage capacity. TeleClinic offers round-the-clock access to doctors via app, website or phone, and is hosted in Deutsche Telekom's Open Telekom Cloud.
Dutch cable operator VodafoneZiggo is preparing to convert its remaining analog TV customers to digital over the next two to three years, according to a report on Broadband TV News, citing newspaper NRC. There are still between 300,000 and 400,000 households in the Netherlands that can only watch analog TV.
Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) has agreed to pay the Italian authorities €100 million ($118 million) to settle a dispute over back taxes relating to the period 2011-2015, Reuters reports. The tax authorities said in April that they believed the online giant had evaded €120-130 million ($141.5-153 million) in taxes, claims a Reuters source.
After an intervention by Ofcom, Vodafone UK is going to allow thousands of its customers to exit their contracts early after new international roaming charges applying to 60 countries outside the UK brought "bill shock" to some. As the BBC reports, Vodafone introduced a flat-rate £6 ($8) roaming charge in these countries, meaning that some unlucky customers were charged £6 for a single text message. Previously customers were charged in proportion to their use of data.