And so the fleecing or the Iraqi people begins…
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
> to some squashed toes. Using the confusion in a Iraq as a cover screen
> Bahriani mobile firm Batelco spent $5 million setting up and beginning
> 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
> 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
> could have been parlayed into a lucrative mobile license and contract.
> Thursday, rules were set up for Iraqi mobile phone licenses and
> along with some of Europe’s largest mobile companies will be left out
> the bidding.
> ” The rules – issued by the coalition authorities ahead of a
> conference in Jordan on Thursday – ban governments from “directly
> 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
> biggest operators, because the French and German governments still
> 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
> having influence over services provided to Iraq. On the other hand, one
> could argue companies from coalition nations should be barred,
> since they are the ones setting up the rules.