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And so the fleecing or the Iraqi people begins…

-Ian.

Begin forwarded message:

> From: Tom
> Date: Fri Aug 1, 2003 9:32:24 AM US/Pacific
> To: fork [at] xent [dot] com
> Subject: Can You Here Me Now
>
>> From http://www.arstechnica.com/
>
> Middle East mobile firm shut out in Iraq
>
> Posted 8/1/2003 – 2:09AM, by Fred “zAmboni” Locklear
> Getting a foot in the door can lead to opportunities, but it can also
> lead
> to some squashed toes. Using the confusion in a Iraq as a cover screen
> the
> Bahriani mobile firm Batelco spent $5 million setting up and beginning
> GSM
> service in Baghdad on July 22. One problem. Batelco had not obtained a
> license to start services and promptly told to cease service. The U.S.
> started seeking bids for three mobile phone licenses on Sunday, so
> Betelco
> could just apply, right? Watch out toes, here comes the crunch.
>
> Batelco was probably trying to get the jump on others since licensing
> rules had not been set up and there have been rumblings the U.S. would
> craft rules to favor other U.S. companies. It was a $5 million gamble
> that
> could have been parlayed into a lucrative mobile license and contract.
> On
> Thursday, rules were set up for Iraqi mobile phone licenses and
> Batelco,
> along with some of Europe’s largest mobile companies will be left out
> of
> the bidding.
>
> ” The rules – issued by the coalition authorities ahead of a
> bidders’
> conference in Jordan on Thursday – ban governments from “directly
> or
> indirectly own(ing) more than 5% of any single bidding company or
> single company in consortia”.
>
> That rules out – among others – Orange and T-Mobile, two of
> Europe’s
> biggest operators, because the French and German governments still
> own
> significant stakes in their parent companies.”
>
> The BBC also suggests the rules have stipulations which will favor U.S.
> companies. The restrictions could be seen as preventing a government
> from
> having influence over services provided to Iraq. On the other hand, one
> could argue companies from coalition nations should be barred,
> especially
> since they are the ones setting up the rules.
>
> [1]http://www.bayarea.com/mld/mercurynews/news/special_packages/iraq/
> 6402112.htm
> [2]http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/3114591.stm
>

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