updated 09:05 am EDT, Tue June 10, 2008
Telenor Mulls TeliaSonera
Norway's Telenor has expressed interest in buying its Scandinavian competitor TeliaSonera in light of the latter's rejecting an initial France Telecom bid, TeliaSonera board member Elof Isaksson says. He declines to elaborate on the seriousness of the deal but is supported by Norwegian industry committee chair Ola Borten Moe, who says the union of the two telecoms companies would be beneficial. The Norwegian government owns a majority stake in Telenor.
Telenor itself has declined comment on the prospects of taking over TeliaSonera, which is partly owned by the Finnish and Swedish governments and which serves some Telenor customers in what could become a near-monopoly situation in the event of an unconditional merger.
The apparent competition to acquire TeliaSonera comes the same week as the carrier officially becomes the sole iPhone provider for Scandinavia's four countries, potentially complicating the launch. France Telecom itself operates Orange and already supplies the iPhone in France along with upcoming launches in several other European countries, the Dominican Republic, and Egypt as well as Jordan in the Middle East.