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.

Pre-pay phone users fleeced, says Orange claims pre-pay phones `fleece' customers, are `fleeced', says Orange

AN EXTRAORDINARY row broke out yesterday between Britain's mobile telephone operators after Orange claimed that millions of customers who bought pre-payment phones were being "fleeced". Hans Snook, chief executive of Orange, also alleged that pre-payment phones were a "con job" and estimated that 30 per cent of those sold were now switched off and lying in drawers after customers had discovered how prohibitively expensive they were to use.
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