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The strongest-ever quarterly earnings from the UK’s largest mobile phone group, Everything Everywhere, today boosted the chances of its £10 billion flotation on the London stock market taking place by the end of this year.

Mobile firms warn on call costs

Orange and mmO2 say customers still pay if competition regulator takes action

Mobile auction marred by row

Mixed day for European markets

STOCK PRICES on Europe's biggest exchanges were mixed yesterday amid low volume due to the closure of the London market.

Outlook: Telewest Flextech

OOPS. THE Telewest bid for Flextech failed to materialise as billed yesterday. This always makes markets a little nervous, but it appears they have nothing to worry about. The hold-up was mainly technical and legal, rather than anything more fundamental. There's still scope for the merger to come apart during the due diligence, of course, but on the face of it a deal acceptable to both sides has been all but done. For Telewest, it marks a quite profound about turn in strategy. Less than six months ago, Telewest was still hoping to pull off a consolidating merger with its cable TV rival, Cable & Wireless Communications, but at the last moment it found itself outgunned by a France Telecom backed NTL. That's the end of Telewest then, everyone said at the time. Emboldened and strengthened by the CWC takeover, NTL would soon be absorbing Telewest as well.

56 accused in trial of French paedophile ring

THE DEFENDANTS form a cross-section of provincial, conservative France: a former army officer and Gaullist party official; two doctors; a teacher; a gendarme; a builder; a photographer; and an obscure film director.

Mannesmann bid target rumours

SHARES IN Mannesmann, the German company that last month bought Orange, the mobile phone group, could surge again today amid speculation that Vodafone AirTouch is teaming up with France Telecom to bid pounds 45bn for the group.

Orange creates 1,100 call-centre jobs

ORANGE, THE mobile phone operator, says it is creating 1,100 jobs with the opening of a state-of-the-art customer call- centre in Plymouth, Devon.

Telekom may float mobile and Net arms

DEUTSCHE TELEKOM said yesterday it was prepared to float its mobile and Internet businesses to fund future acquisitions.

Outlook: Snook-ered behind the Orange ball

THE FUTURE may be orange but the mobile industry was seeing red yesterday after Hans Snook's claim that the pre-pay phone is really a device for fleecing the customer. Orange has one million subscribers who fall into this category so the chief executive needs to chose his words with a little care. To some extent, Mr Snook's observation is also a touch self-serving since Orange would much prefer to have no pre-pay customers at all and persuade them all to sign up on 12-month contracts instead.
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