ECONOMY

Telecom players talking, but no results

«Everyone is talking to everyone but little is happening.» This is how a senior telecom official from Greece responded to comments from Fotis Savvides, the head of CyTA, saying that talks were held between the Cypriot company and Forthnet and Hellas Online on the subject of working together in the Greek market. According to Savvides, meetings were held recently in Nicosia between CyTA officials and representatives from Forthnet and Hellas Online on the possibility of their working together in Greece. Officials from the Greek companies, however, pointed out that it will be some time before any consolidation in the Greek telecom market takes place. The truth is that over the last 12 to 18 months, alternative telecom providers including Wind Hellas, which operates in fixed telephony, have been in talks in a bid to find a way to strengthen their positions. Given the fact that they expect the worst is yet to come in the sector, the companies believe that they may not make it through the tough times unless they hook up with a rival and seek more shareholder support. However, any attempts at mergers or acquisitions have failed to make any headway due to their high price tags. It appears that alternative efforts to do business, such as those by Hellas Online and Forthnet, have also foundered. However, the problems in the sector, such as high debt levels and loss-making operations, are creating a growing number of additional obstacles. The sector, which was very enticing to investors at the beginning of the previous decade, has lost its shine after years of intense competition.