Telekom CEO argues for strong No. 3 player in U.S. wireless market: newspaper

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – A strong No. 3 player in the U.S. wireless market would enhance competition, the chief of Deutsche Telekom (DTEGn.DE) told a German newspaper, as T-Mobile US Inc (TMUS.O) seeks to merge with Sprint Corp (S.N).

Timotheus Hoettges, Chief Executive Officer of Germany’s telecommunications giant Deutsche Telekom AG poses for a picture at the Cyber Defense and Security Operation Center (SOC) of Telekom Security in Bonn October 26, 2017. REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay

Chief executive officer Timotheus Hoettges also urged the new German government to think twice before selling down its large stake in Deutsche Telekom, according to an interview in Welt am Sonntag.

T-Mobile US, majority-owned by Deutsche Telekom, is close to agreeing tentative terms on a deal to merge with Sprint Corp, people familiar with the matter have said, a breakthrough in efforts to merge the third and fourth largest U.S. wireless carriers.

Hoettges, in the interview published on Sunday, declined to comment directly on talks between the companies.

“In the U.S. there is a duopoly between two very big players, and then there are two smaller players well behind,” he said. “A third strong player would be good for competition.”

Verizon Communications Inc (VZ.N) and AT&T Inc (T.N) are the two largest wireless carriers.

Competition regulators have in the past quashed consolidation efforts by T-Mobile, but Hoettges said chances are now better under U.S. President Donald Trump.

“History has taught us that governments led by Republicans are more hands-off than Democratic administrations,” he said.

On the German state’s nearly 32 percent stake in Deutsche Telekom, Hoettges acknowledged it would be the new government’s decision whether to sell or keep.

But he said those who argued for a sale “should perhaps ask themselves who will buy the stake”.

“What interest would the owner have in infrastructure security? Would the owner want to invest in Germany, and if so, where and in particular, how much?”

The FDP and Green parties, which are in talks to form a coalition government with Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives, have both advocated a sale or partial sale of the stake.

Reporting by Tom Sims and Douglas Busvine; editing by John Stonestreet

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Tech

Google Play Services 8.1 SDK ships with new app invites, permissions, Player Stats API

Google Play Games' built-in developer analytics tools grew more robust today.

Google has rolled out a series of updates for Google Play and Android 6.0 Marshmallow today aimed at giving better support for developers. The company announced that Marshmallow now has a new permissions model aimed at improving the way app installs and updates are handled. Additionally, Google Play services 8.1 offers support runtime permissions, a new Play Games Player Stats API, and more.

Within Google’s newest mobile operating system version, a new app permissions model promises to let developers offer more control to the users. Not only can the app declare the permissions it’s going to need, but permissions will be divided into groups based on their functionality, making the organization easier. Marshmallow also includes limits on how permissioning is handled at install time — users won’t be prompted to grant permission to some apps because of the nature of these services, such as alarm clock or Internet apps.

Developers interested in tapping into the updated permission model can view more information here. Google cautions that during the preview period, not all of its core apps will have fully implemented this new model.

Besides Android 6.0 Marshmallow, Google Play services has received some updates. The completed rollout of version 8.1 now allows developers to customize the email invitation with a custom image and a call-to-action button. The idea is that by giving more control to developers, more engagement and conversions will happen.

Game developers will be interested in the new Play Games Player Stats API, which will let developers better tailor the user experience to specific segments of players. In an example, Google said that the most valuable players could be rewarded with a special welcome back message when returning to the game.

For those developers using Google Nearby, the company has added a feature that gives apps the ability to receive a callback when an active Nearby publish or subscribe expires. Google Nearby lets apps communicate with nearby devices, and traditionally it would hog up resources. But this update claims to improve accuracy and make it easy to enable apps across devices to talk to one another.

This is the first update to Google Play services since last month, when new APIs were made available that let developers utilize face detection, barcode recognition, and facilitated Nearby Messages.


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