Sunday, December 11, 2005

Dutch bits

In the past week a lot of things happened in the Dutch telecom, publishing and broadcasting sectors.

Government sells shares in KPN
Dutch government has sold 8 per cent of shares in KPN. Government still has 8 per cent, but will sell these before the end of the year. It gave up its golden share and veto right by which it could control decisions. The sale immediately sparked speculations about acquisition by equity companies or telecom companies as Telefonica or T-Mobile.

KPN acquires Nozema
The incumbent telecommunication KPN is allowed to buy Nozema for 75 million euro. Nozema was the infrastructure company for broadcasting. It possesses masts and controls the airwaves, but it was really interesting for KPN because of its digital broadcast company Digitenne. The sale has been opposed by some parties in the parliament and by the cable companies. KPN plays on all infrastructures except cable. The company recently started its own IPTV.

KPN introduces VoIP quietly
KPN has started VoIP, but has not announced it publicly. Subscribers to the telephone net, which is managed by KPN, can make a postcode check and take out a subscription. KPN has already competition from Tiscali and Wanadoo.

TV in Dutch train
The Dutch railway company, the RTL broadcast company and the telco KPN introduce NStv, laptop-tv in the train. Owners of a laptop will have to buy a card and a subscription. KPN will also deliver ADSL in the trains in the future.

Guerrilla to Sony
The Dutch game producer Guerrilla has been sold to Sony. The Dutch company with 95 employees, famous for its PSP game Killzone, was part of Media Republic and has been founded by Lost Boys. The company will stay in the Netherlands.

Media Republic not to Talpa
Media Republic was talking to the Dutch commercial broadcast company Talpa for a complete acquisition by Talpa. The talks have been cancelled after the sale of Guerrilla. The company works for Vodafone and Telfort and hopes to go international, amongst other with Eckky, a buddy in MSN. After the sale of Guerilla, Media Republic works with 45 employees.

VNU’s blues
It looks like my former employer VNU, which made the switch from publishing company to an information company, might be broken up in 2006. After abandoning the merger with IMS Health, two consortia of private equity companies are interested in buying VNU and breaking it up in a publishing part and an information division.

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