DTE.SG - DEUTSCHE TELEKOM AG NAMENS-AKTI

Stuttgart - Stuttgart Delayed Price. Currency in EUR
14.69
-0.02 (-0.12%)
At close: 9:55PM CET
Stock chart is not supported by your current browser
Previous Close14.71
Open14.75
Bid14.68 x N/A
Ask14.69 x N/A
Day's Range14.66 - 14.79
52 Week Range13.98 - 16.25
Volume49,357
Avg. Volume53,554
Market CapN/A
Beta (5Y Monthly)N/A
PE Ratio (TTM)N/A
EPS (TTM)N/A
Earnings DateN/A
Forward Dividend & YieldN/A (N/A)
Ex-Dividend DateN/A
1y Target EstN/A
  • Is Deutsche Telekom AG (ETR:DTE) The Right Choice For A Smart Dividend Investor?
    Simply Wall St.

    Is Deutsche Telekom AG (ETR:DTE) The Right Choice For A Smart Dividend Investor?

    Dividend paying stocks like Deutsche Telekom AG (ETR:DTE) tend to be popular with investors, and for good reason...

  • Exclusive: Huawei and Deutsche Telekom held advanced talks over 5G network deal - sources
    Reuters

    Exclusive: Huawei and Deutsche Telekom held advanced talks over 5G network deal - sources

    Deutsche Telekom was in advanced talks to retain China's Huawei as its main supplier of radio equipment for new mobile networks before it put the negotiations on hold for political reasons, according to three sources familiar with the matter. Washington has told allies that the company's equipment could be used by China as spying tools, an allegation denied by Huawei and Beijing. Deutsche Telekom, Europe's largest telecoms operator, announced last week that it was not entering into 5G network equipment contracts as it awaited the resolution of a political debate in Berlin over whether to restrict Huawei's access to the German market.

  • Can Germany Really Afford to Ban Huawei?
    Bloomberg

    Can Germany Really Afford to Ban Huawei?

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- Germany wants a rapid roll-out of 5G technology to sort out its creaking mobile phone network. Yet a group of German lawmakers wants to ban equipment made by China’s Huawei Technologies Co. The country can’t do both.There is an inevitable trade-off for any nation considering a block on Huawei’s telecoms gear. Sticking to the equipment produced by its big rivals Nokia Oyj, Ericsson AB and Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. might lessen the risk of exposing your networks to malicious interference from Beijing; unfortunately it also means slowing down the upgrades of those networks because Huawei is in the lead technologically. Deutsche Telekom AG, Germany’s biggest phone carrier, estimates a Chinese ban would delay its 5G deployment by at least two years.While governments from Britain to India are weighing a Huawei prohibition, Berlin has much more at stake than almost any other nation. That’s due in part to the Chinese company’s deep penetration of the German market. While Huawei has about one-third of Europe’s market for telecoms equipment, it supplies at least half of Deutsche Telekom’s gear.The German magazine WirtschaftsWoche has reported that Telekom plans to strip Huawei components out of its core network over the next two years, no doubt because of the political pressure. Yet Spain’s Telefonica SA, which operates Germany’s second-biggest wireless network, last week picked both Huawei and Nokia as key suppliers for its own next-generation networks. This is why concerted European action on Huawei makes more sense than doing it piecemeal.Germany has one of the worst mobile networks in Europe, according to research firm OpenSignal. As part of its auction of 5G spectrum rights, the German regulator stipulated aggressive coverage targets. The aim is to make sure that the country’s industrial companies can lean on 5G to keep pace with the latest innovations in artificial intelligence and cloud computing.Just as significantly, many of Germany’s biggest businesses depend on Chinese exports. It is Germany’s third-biggest export destination, accounting for some $100 billion a year, and the single biggest market for carmakers Volkswagen AG, BMW AG and Daimler AG. So comments from China’s ambassador to Berlin on Friday, where he mooted retaliation for any Huawei ban, will have been heard with dismay in the boardrooms of the autos giants.QuicktakeWhy 5G Mobile Arrives With a Subplot of EspionageThis leaves Berlin with a real conundrum. Banning Huawei might be the most sensible course of action from a security standpoint. There’s also the not-so-small diplomatic matter of keeping the Americans happy, with Washington eager for a hard line on the Chinese company. But as Germany plays catch-up on mobile connectivity, there’s a tangible downside to such an embargo, even without factoring in retaliatory trade measures from Beijing. Lawmakers would surely have to abandon Germany’s ambitious 5G goals, which include covering 98 percent of homes with download speeds of 100 megabits per second by the end of 2022.Were fellow European Union member states to agree a common policy over the Chinese tech champion, as my colleague Andreas Kluth has advocated, then the competitive disadvantage of tackling Huawei would be reduced. But lawmakers need to acknowledge the true industrial cost of cutting it out of the supply chain.To contact the author of this story: Alex Webb at awebb25@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: James Boxell at jboxell@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Alex Webb is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering Europe's technology, media and communications industries. He previously covered Apple and other technology companies for Bloomberg News in San Francisco.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Bloomberg

    Huawei Wins Telefonica Deal to Help Build German 5G Network

    (Bloomberg) -- China’s Huawei Technologies Co. just got a seal of approval from one of Germany’s biggest telecom companies.Telefonica SA’s German unit, which operates the country’s second-largest wireless network, picked Huawei and Finland’s Nokia Oyj to take an equal role supplying its fifth-generation mobile phone network upgrade, the company said in a statement Wednesday. The deal is subject to the firms getting certified by German authorities, it said.The announcement is a boon to Huawei after Deutsche Telekom AG said last week it has stopped ordering new 5G equipment because of political uncertainty over Chinese suppliers. Huawei has repeatedly denied allegations its equipment could be used for espionage.There’s one caveat, though. The German government is currently drawing up security guidelines for the country’s 5G network expansion, in a move that’s expected to require certification of equipment, including antennas.Hawks in the intelligence community would like to tighten the rules in a way that would block Huawei. Chancellor Angela Merkel has said in the past she doesn’t want to bar the Chinese firm as long as it abides by certain security standards. It isn’t yet clear what requirements will ultimately be put in place, so it may be too early for Huawei to declare victory in Germany.Less SensitiveThe deal with both firms to supply the less-sensitive radio access network “will be subject to the successful safety certification of the technology and the companies,” Telefonica Deutschland Holding AG said in the statement. The company “is taking into account the ongoing political process of establishing these security guidelines without delaying the start of the 5G expansion.”Telefonica Deutschland hasn’t yet selected a supplier to upgrade the more-sensitive core network -- the ‘brain’ that houses control functions -- and won’t do so until next year, Chief Executive Officer Markus Haas said on a call with reporters.The company’s shares fell 2.1% at 11:24 a.m. in Frankfurt. Its strategy update, presented to investors in London this morning, indicated it would cut its 2019 dividend to 17 euro cents a share from 27 euro cents.Telefonica Deutschland is targeting sales growth of at least 5% through 2022 and is seeking to improve its profit margin during that period. The company is confident it can win more customers in rural areas and add fixed-line clients as well as corporate customers that install 5G in their factories, Haas said on the call.(Updates with CEO comment in seventh paragraph, updates shares.)To contact the reporter on this story: Stefan Nicola in Berlin at snicola2@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Rebecca Penty at rpenty@bloomberg.net, Jennifer Ryan, Thomas PfeifferFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Deutsche Telekom CEO denies T-Mobile/Sprint deal will reduce competition
    Reuters

    Deutsche Telekom CEO denies T-Mobile/Sprint deal will reduce competition

    T-Mobile US Inc and Sprint Corp did not pursue a merger in order to reduce price competition in the U.S. wireless market, the chief executive of Deutsche Telekom, T-Mobile's majority shareholder, testified on Tuesday in federal court in Manhattan. Timotheus Höttges, who is chairman of T-Mobile's board, testified that T-Mobile sought to merge with its smaller rival to increase scale and gain wireless spectrum, or airwaves that carry data, but denied the goal was to reduce competition.

  • Europe Edges Toward 5G Restrictions After Blast of U.S. Lobbying
    Bloomberg

    Europe Edges Toward 5G Restrictions After Blast of U.S. Lobbying

    (Bloomberg) -- U.S. officials flooded Europe last week, and by the time they had departed, their efforts to persuade their allies to cut back in using Huawei Technologies Co. equipment appeared to finally be gaining traction.Europe has been caught between two major world powers, China and the U.S., over the question of whether to include Huawei in the roll-out of its future 5G mobile networks. Many European countries don’t want to anger Beijing, a significant trading partner, while the U.S., an important security ally, has repeatedly said it may reassess intelligence sharing with countries that utilize Huawei in their 5G networks.But on Tuesday the European Union agreed its member states should adopt a “comprehensive and risk-based” approach to the security of 5G, which includes using only trustworthy parties for components critical to national security, and should consider the laws of a supplier’s home country before buying their products.A day later, following a NATO summit U.S. President Donald Trump and German Chancellor Angela Merkel discussed “the need to exclude untrusted providers,” a White House spokesman said in a statement. The discussion came as the country’s largest phone carrier, Deutsche Telekom AG, announced it had stopped orders for 5G equipment due to Huawei’s uncertain status. Merkel has previously insisted that individual vendors such as Huawei should not be banned from the outset.While American diplomats see the new EU security conclusions as a sign of progress, it’s not yet certain it will lead to a change in Huawei’s status in Europe. Under current EU law, only member states can ban vendors from their markets. The countries are expected to agree to recommendations by the end of the year. These could include flagging specific vendors as untrustworthy, or suggesting updates to EU or national legislation.The ambiguities of European regulation haven’t stopped U.S. officials from declaring some form of victory.“We were very pleased to see the conclusions on 5G that the EU council released,” Rob Strayer, the U.S. State Department’s deputy assistant secretary for cyber, said on a conference call with reporters Thursday.Keith Krach, the State Department’s under secretary for economic growth, energy, and the environment also told reporters in Paris: “I would like to salute the EU leadership on the position they’ve taken on securing 5G.”For their part, EU officials said member states agreed to the 5G conclusions to safeguard the region’s own interests, not to appease any outside powers. They added that the U.S. and China weren’t mentioned in the discussions leading up to the agreement, nor were there any real controversial issues among the member states.Part of the U.S. optimism comes as European companies begin to turn their back on Huawei. Deutsche Telekom said it was hoping for “political clarity for the 5G build-out in Germany as soon as possible” as it announced it had stopped orders on 5G equipment due to Huawei’s uncertain status. No other major European telecommunications company has announced a full ban, although Vodafone Group Plc in January suspended purchases of Huawei gear for the core of its European networks.A key issue for European and U.S. officials is a 2017 Chinese law that mandates any organization and citizen to support and assist national intelligence in their investigations. The U.S. has argued that allies should only purchase equipment from countries that have independent court systems. Strayer has said he isn’t trying to get allies to ban a particular company, but instead, is urging allies to adopt a common security standard -- which Huawei doesn’t meet.“We’ve said for some time that we want to maintain our very close cooperation on law enforcement and military matters with governments around the world,” said Strayer said on Tuesday in an interview with Bloomberg TV. “But when we’re not able to share information securely, as would be the case when they have untrusted vendors in their 5G networks, we’re going to have to reassess how we share that information in the future.”A Huawei spokesman pointed Bloomberg News to a statement in which the company welcomed the EU’s “fact-based approach,” adding that the Chinese company is a trusted partner throughout Europe and that its 5G solution is “safe and innovative.”The political agreement by the European member states aims to set one approach on 5G across capitals, preventing any one country from being singled out or becoming a potential target for retaliation by China or the U.S.In the U.K., a key U.S. ally, Conservative party politicians are burnishing their hawkish security credentials during a general election campaign by dangling the prospect of a ban on a Chinese supplier. Prime Minister Boris Johnson, speaking at the NATO Summit in London on Wednesday, said he didn’t want Britain to be “unnecessarily hostile to investment from overseas,” but “we cannot prejudice our vital national security interests.”U.K. Chancellor of the Exchequer Sajid Javid appeared to echo Johnson’s stance. “When it comes to our national security, no cost is too high,” he said, speaking to LBC radio. The Conservatives are capitalizing on data that shows opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn polling badly on whether he can be trusted on national security issues.It wasn’t all a success for the U.S., however. The following day, Johnson was seen using what appeared to be a Huawei P20 smartphone to take selfies. His office said that the phone belonged to a staffer.\--With assistance from Kitty Donaldson and Rudy Ruitenberg.To contact the reporters on this story: Alyza Sebenius in Washington at asebenius@bloomberg.net;Natalia Drozdiak in Brussels at ndrozdiak1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Giles Turner at gturner35@bloomberg.net, Andrew MartinFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Exclusive: Deutsche Telekom freezes 5G deals pending Huawei ban decision
    Reuters

    Exclusive: Deutsche Telekom freezes 5G deals pending Huawei ban decision

    Deutsche Telekom has put all deals to buy 5G network equipment on hold, it said on Wednesday, as it awaits the resolution of a debate in Germany over whether to bar Chinese vendor Huawei on security grounds. Europe's largest telco finds itself in a tight spot after senior lawmakers in Chancellor Angela Merkel's coalition rebelled and called for a ban on Huawei, which is a key vendor for its existing mobile networks in Germany and Europe. At the same time in the United States, a $26 billion deal for Deutsche Telekom's T-Mobile unit to merge with Sprint hangs in the balance.

  • Reuters

    UPDATE 1-Deutsche Telekom 5G deals on hold pending Huawei ban decision

    "In light of the unclear political situation, we are not currently entering into any 5G contracts with any vendor," Deutsche Telekom said. Deutsche Telekom has launched 5G in a handful of German cities, with its rollout in Berlin based on a pilot project there with Huawei.

  • Reuters

    UPDATE 1-France's Orange plans to set up European mobile mast company

    Orange said it planned to carve out its mobile towers in most European countries where it is present, in a move aimed at shoring up the telecom group's value as tough competition in the region has hampered its growth and margins. The French telecoms operator is following similar moves by other European companies that are looking at selling mobile networks as in valuations for infrastructure assets sky-rocket amid growing appetite from investors, such as U.S. private equity firm KKR and Spain's Cellnex. Bigger rivals Deutsche Telekom and Britain's Vodafone have separated their mast mobile assets and are seeking to sell part of them via a listing or a private sale.

  • Reuters

    Telecoms group Orange kicks off the carving-out of its towers in Europe

    Orange said it planned to carve out its mobile towers in most European countries where it is present, in a move aimed at shoring up the telecom group's value as tough competition in the region has hampered its growth and margins. The Paris-based company will retain control over all these new entities and is hoping to eventually merge them into a European company. "It is a vehicle that will enable us to play a possible role in consolidation at European level," Chief Executive Officer Stephane Richard said in a call with reporters on Wednesday.

  • Despite Its High P/E Ratio, Is Deutsche Telekom AG (ETR:DTE) Still Undervalued?
    Simply Wall St.

    Despite Its High P/E Ratio, Is Deutsche Telekom AG (ETR:DTE) Still Undervalued?

    This article is written for those who want to get better at using price to earnings ratios (P/E ratios). We'll look at...

  • Deutsche Telekom examines possible merger with Orange - Handelsblatt
    Reuters

    Deutsche Telekom examines possible merger with Orange - Handelsblatt

    Deutsche Telekom is examining a possible tie-up with French peer Orange, German business daily Handelsblatt reported on Wednesday, citing managers close to the matter. A spokesman for Orange said "there are no ideas or discussions going on" regarding such an initiative. Deutsche Telekom declined to comment.

  • Deutsche Telekom examines possible merger with Orange: Handelsblatt
    Reuters

    Deutsche Telekom examines possible merger with Orange: Handelsblatt

    Deutsche Telekom is examining a possible tie-up with French peer Orange, German business daily Handelsblatt reported on Wednesday, citing managers close to the matter. A spokesman for Orange said "there are no ideas or discussions going on" regarding such an initiative. Deutsche Telekom declined to comment.

  • Reuters

    UPDATE 2-European shares continue climb on U.S.-China trade optimism

    European stocks rose for the fourth session on Thursday, as telecom stocks rose after a report that Deutsche Telekom is examining a possible merger with France's Orange, while hopes for an end to the U.S.-China trade dispute also helped the mood. Deutsche Telekom gained 1.3% after the German business daily Handelsblatt report. The pan-European STOXX 600 index finished 0.3% higher at a new 4-four peak as comments from U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday that Washington was in the "final throes" of work on a deal continued to buoy the sentiment.

  • Deutsche Telekom to stick to multi-vendor strategy
    Reuters

    Deutsche Telekom to stick to multi-vendor strategy

    Deutsche Telekom on Wednesday declined to comment on a magazine report that it would phase out some equipment from Chinese vendor Huawei Technologies [HWT.UL] over time, saying only that it relies on multiple network providers. Business weekly Wirtschaftswoche reported earlier, citing company sources, that Deutsche Telekom would swap Huawei components out of its core network as part of the routine replacement of older equipment. Huawei denies this.

  • In the Age of 5G, the Hottest Telecom Assets Are ... Towers
    Bloomberg

    In the Age of 5G, the Hottest Telecom Assets Are ... Towers

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- There are plenty of reasons Deutsche Telekom AG and Vodafone Group Plc make for uneasy bedfellows. But if Europe’s biggest telecommunications firms can overcome their differences, they would benefit from forging a strong alliance for one of their biggest cost centers: towers.The structures on which mobile operators install their antennas have generated a flurry of dealmaking as valuations soar and European carriers sense an opportunity to reduce debt and costs. By some estimates, towers account for a third of total capital expenditures. Since July, more than $8 billion of deals have been announced in Europe.Sexy they are not. Yet towers are critical vertebrae for wireless networks, and are ever more in demand with the advent of 5G networks. The new technology, which promises to transmit bigger gobs of data at faster speeds, will depend on antennas with a shorter range than previous generations because of the spectrum of bandwidth being used. That means more towers will be needed to post more antennas at closer intervals to power a network, making it increasingly attractive for operators to share them.With that in mind, Vodafone is already separating out its towers arm. An umbrella company will hold the stakes in its U.K. joint venture with the local unit of Madrid-based Telefonica SA, as well as a combination in Italy with Telecom Italia SpA’s Inwit subsidiary, pending regulatory approval. Options are being evaluated for Vodafone’s similar assets across the rest of Europe. Germany is at the top of the list.Just last week, Deutsche Telekom, Vodafone and Telefonica agreed to work together to build as many as 6,000 mobile sites in a bid to cut costs. They could do more, and merging Vodafone’s towers with those of Deutsche Telekom, the larger rival, would make the most sense for both parties. The former German national carrier has intimated it’s open to “possible scenarios,” especially given the German government’s ambitious target of having 98% of German homes, every highway and all federal roads equipped with download speeds of 100 megabits per second by the end of 2022.The timing isn’t perfect. The two firms’ rivalry is intensifying in Germany after the British firm agreed to buy Liberty Global Plc’s local cable assets for 19 billion euros ($16.5 billion). In trying to stymie the deal, Deutsche Telekom Chief Executive Officer Tim Hoettges questioned the implications that foreign ownership of major television assets would have for German democracy.But a towers tie-up could yield three major benefits: It would reduce debt, underpin an improved sum-of-the-parts valuation, and cut exposure to major capital expenditures over the next decade. Hoettges teased the idea at a conference in Barcelona last week, saying, “I’m ready for an IPO, I’m ready for a partnership — if we find one.”Mimicking Vodafone’s Italian deal would be sensible. There, Vodafone had the more valuable assets, so it received a 2.1 billion-euro cash payment and a 37.5% stake in the firm, Inwit. Telecom Italia has a holding of the same size, with the remaining 30% publicly traded.In Germany, Deutsche Telekom would expect to receive the cash payment. It has 9,000 towers, and Vodafone just 4,000. And since towers companies can sustain higher levels of debt, that money needn’t come from Vodafone itself. The new firm’s higher leverage capacity might be able to fund the deal.With the cash, Deutsche Telekom could reduce its net debt, which is set to jump significantly when U.S. subsidiary T-Mobile U.S. Inc. seals the $58 billion acquisition of Sprint Corp., expected early next year. That will push debt above Deutsche Telekom’s target ratio, Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Aidan Cheslin estimates.The value of the new towers company could approach 15 billion euros, based on earnings estimates and peer valuations. By selling a minority stake to the public market, Vodafone and Deutsche Telekom would be able to raise more capital and highlight value of the towers businessThe main reason not to merge the operations — being able to brag your network is better than someone else’s — is meanwhile eroding, given the network-sharing agreement reached last week.The biggest hurdle to a deal might be antitrust concerns. But other deals that seemed a gamble — such as Deutsche Telekom merging its Dutch business with the that of Swedish rival Tele2 AB — have been cleared. The pace of towers combinations is accelerating. France’s Orange SA has hinted it’s also evaluating its infrastructure assets, and will reveal more details Dec. 4. Europe’s two biggest telecoms giants should do so too, and together.To contact the author of this story: Alex Webb at awebb25@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Melissa Pozsgay at mpozsgay@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Alex Webb is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering Europe's technology, media and communications industries. He previously covered Apple and other technology companies for Bloomberg News in San Francisco.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Reuters

    Deutsche Telekom says U.S. deal hedges pushed up debt in third quarter

    Deutsche Telekom slipped out of its comfort zone on leverage in the third quarter due to paper losses on hedges taken out to pay for U.S. unit T-Mobile's acquisition of Sprint, CEO Tim Hoettges said on Wednesday. "The net debt was higher than we thought - over 3 billion euros ($3.3 billion) higher," Hoettges told the Morgan Stanley European TMT Conference in Barcelona, attributing the losses to a strong dollar and declining U.S. interest rates. Deutsche Telekom's net debt rose to 78.8 billion euros in the quarter, lifting its leverage ratio to 2.8 times core earnings.

  • France's Bad Boy of Telecoms Joins the Geriatric Set
    Bloomberg

    France's Bad Boy of Telecoms Joins the Geriatric Set

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- Xavier Niel is supposed to be the bad boy of French telecoms. He never finished college, once ran an online sex-chat service, and shook up incumbents like Orange SA with cheap pricing when he launched Free Mobile in 2012.That makes one element of his push to extend control over Free’s parent Iliad SA particularly surprising: the implicit admission that the Paris-based company is becoming just like any other boring telecom company. It's an overdue acknowledgement of market realities.It all comes down to the dividend. Mobile carriers have appealed to investors over the past decade not for their growth prospects but their generous dividend payouts. European telecommunications firms will have an average dividend yield of 5% this year, according to estimates compiled by Bloomberg. That compares with the 3.3% average of the broader Stoxx 600 Index of European companies.Iliad has differed from the crowd. Its 12-month yield has averaged 0.8% since 2009. That’s because it promised growth — the stock climbed almost three-fold between 2009 and 2017. But the past two years have been a different story. Before today, the shares had fallen 63% from their 2017 peak as French rivals reclaimed market share from the low-cost upstart.On Tuesday, Niel announced plans to boost his holding in the firm by as much as 20 percentage points. The complicated structure will see Iliad buy back up to 1.4 billion euros ($1.5 billion) of stock for 120 euros per share, then issue new shares of an equivalent amount that Niel has pledged to buy, in a rights issue to which other shareholders can also subscribe. At the same time, Iliad announced it would increase the dividend by a chunky 189% to 2.60 euros, bringing the yield to more than 2%. That’s still very much at the low end of its peers but a substantial change in policy, particularly at a time when the region’s giants — Vodafone Group Plc and Deutsche Telekom AG — are cutting their dividends as they anticipate increased spending on 5G networks.For Niel, it’s a canny way of using the company’s stronger balance sheet to extend his control. Iliad is expecting proceeds of more than 2 billion euros from the sale of infrastructure assets this year. If he increases his stake to above 70% from the current 52%, as the buyback and rights issue might allow, he can expect annual dividend proceeds exceeding 100 million euros. That can help him service the personal debt that he’s likely assuming to fund the rights issue. The move may also strengthen Niel's hand and his financial upside, should the perennial on-again, off-again efforts to consolidate the French market resume.The steps at Iliad don’t particularly disadvantage existing shareholders financially, even if they do seem to be very much in Niel’s interest. They’re under no obligation to sell, and have already benefited from a jump in the share price, which climbed 18% on Tuesday. Nor does the increased payout significantly weaken the firm’s finances: The dividend payout will top 154 million euros. Net debt of 3.7 times Ebitda will fall closer to 2.5 times Ebitda. And it’s far less outrageous than the self-interested efforts of fellow French billionaire Vincent Bollore and his family to extend control over Vivendi SA. The Bollores are simply carrying out a buyback of the media conglomerate’s shares, then canceling them, leaving the family with a bigger stake without increasing their financial risk.But for all of Niel’s assertions that the investment reflects his “confidence in the company’s industrial project,” he will likely need Iliad to continue the more generous dividend payouts to service his greater debt. That will gradually chip away at Iliad’s ability to engage in costly price wars to drive market share. Instead, it’s becoming more like its rivals, generating steadier, more predictable returns, rather than promising stratospheric stock growth.To contact the author of this story: Alex Webb at awebb25@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Melissa Pozsgay at mpozsgay@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Alex Webb is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering Europe's technology, media and communications industries. He previously covered Apple and other technology companies for Bloomberg News in San Francisco.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.