THE WRAP: Telekom Austria examines IPO fraud; KPN cable buy stalled

Michael Carroll
12 Aug 2011

This week saw European telcos hit by allegations of fraud and regulatory scrutiny, social networks turn from villains to heroes, and mixed blessings for Samsung.

Telekom Austria’s chief returned a €92,000 ($131,000) bonus received in an IPO in 2004, after a member of staff confessed to being involved in a fraud that influenced the firm’s stock price, and so automatically triggered the public offering.

Hannes Ametsreiter has placed his bonus in a trust fund while the operator explores its legal options to recoup up to €9 million paid out in stock options after the IPO.

In the Netherlands, incumbent KPN faces delays in its acquisition of regional cable TV operator CAIW after the country’s anti-competition authority blocked the deal. Nederlandse Mededingingsautoriteit (NMa) believes KPN’s offer to open its fiber ducts to rivals isn’t enough to maintain competition in the market.

South Korean vendor Samsung endured highs and lows, with a German court blocking sales of its latest Galaxy Tab tablet in nearly all European Union countries as part of continuing patent litigation by rival Apple. On the flip side, Samsung secured second place in global device shipments during the second quarter, according to Gartner figures.

Chinese rival ZTE didn’t need analyst figures to know it is on-track to meet its target of shipping 120 million devices in 2011. The manufacturer shipped 60 million terminals in the first half, and sold 40% of a 12 million smartphones target for the full year.

In Singapore, SingTel’s 2Q profit slipped nearly 3% due to forex losses and higher finance and tax expenses. Revenues were up despite the pressure, however its Optus unit in Australia lost ground to rival Telstra during the quarter, Ovum estimates.

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