Three interesting news stories related to global telecom M&A came out this morning that are worth a look.
Alcatel-Lucent CEO Michel Combes wont be quite as rich after the Nokia deal as he might have expected to be yesterday. Pressure from the political side of things led the company to reduce his compensation package. He will receive cash rather than stock, with a bonus of at most €4.85M and a non-competition payment of &euro3.1M, less taxes and other charges. That's down from €13m in stock. Combes wasn't going to be starving either way of course, he'll be COO of Altice when the Nokia deal does close.
Masayoshi Son nearly took Softbank private earlier this year when the company's stock price fell far enough. There was an 'overseas partner' involved, but the details of the financing didn't pan out. Son owns 19.3% of Softbank, which in turn owns the controlling stake in Sprint of course. Sprint has had its hands full with the continuing onslaught from T-Mobile's uncarrier insurgency, but Son's confidence in the company is said to be on the rebound.
And European regulators have thrown a little cold water on the idea of further consolidation, at least in Denmark. The deal between Telenor and Teliasonera that would have seen their Danish operations combined has collapsed after talks with regulators broke down. Like US regulators, the concern was that three isn't as good as four when talking about mobile network competition. The continent's operators have long maintained that investment in infrastructure would suffer if consolidation weren't allowed, and the collapse of this deal seems likely to ratchet up tensions further.
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