Monday, November 01, 2004

Are the Germans coming?

Three or four years from now, don't be surprised if Lattelekom and Latvian Mobile Telephone (LMT) are subsidiaries of TeliaSonera which, in turn is a subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom. Or worse, Lattelekom is a 49 % stranded investment of TeliaSonera, though that is less likely now that the government of "no privatization on my watch" Indulis Emsis has fallen.
According to my source, speaking in my ear at a crowded wine-drinking event ahead of my newspaper, Dienas bizness annual awards event, the word is out to "start learning German".
This information is to be taken as seriously as any cocktail party rumor, but against the background of rumors that France Telecom was interested in TeliaSonera, it does sort of make sense. It also meshes with my own view, which I tell anyone who says "TeliaSonera taking over LMT and Lattelekom will be a supermonopoly", that TeliaSonera is a midsized fish in the European and global telecoms shark tank. It just looks big to us. To the really big, TeliaSonera looks like lunch. Not ready to be served yet, not, maybe, for quite a while, but still, lunch...

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