To what extent can multinational telecoms companies, such as Vodafone, match the global economies of scale achieved by companies in other high-tech sectors, such as Google, Apple, Nokia and Microsoft? This was one of the key questions debated by senior executives at the 11th Telecoms and Media Conference hosted by management consultants A.T. Kearney in London this week.
Most speakers agreed that more cross-border consolidation is inevitable, but there was some disagreement over whether multinationals have a major competitive advantage. “Multinationals will make up almost all of the European telecoms market by 2020,” Mark Page, the global leader of A.T. Kearney’s Communications, Media & High-Tech practice, told the conference. “But, in too many cases, cross-border M&A activity hasn’t yet translated into improved margins, just higher overheads.”
François-Xavier Roger, Chief Financial Officer of multinational mobile operator Millicom International Cellular, went even further: “We don’t value cross-market synergies, we don’t really find any synergies from one market to another.” What really matters, according to Roger, is being the number one or number two player in a specific market. To read more: click here