Swisscom fending off potential acquisition by America Movil

Swiss telephone/IPTV provider Swisscom isn't going to be another morsel to be devoured by Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim's America Movil. At least not right now, said Dieter Bernauer, the CEO of Swisscom Participations, during the Total Telecom Finance Summit in London. Swisscom Participations is a group of small and medium-sized businesses that focus on the growth potential in areas adjacent to the telco's core telephone business.

First and foremost, the Swiss government considers the provider a "strategic domestic asset," which would make it a little more difficult for a foreigner to come in and take over.

"Infrastructure is something domestic you need to have a grip on... It's something that belongs to the country," said Bernauer in a totaltelecom story.

Of course, things could change if business gets too tough to run profitably or if the service provider finds itself investing too heavily to keep up with a changing marketplace, Bernauer added.

"The slimmer we are, the more we run the risk of getting taken over," he said.

Swisscom is not unique in the challenges it faces. It needs to invest in its networks to boost data capacity at the same time it's fending off OTT players who are riding on those networks and actually siphoning away subscribers.

Then there are the sharks, like America Movil, that can smell blood in the water and circle around a floundering company. To stay afloat, Swisscom is changing the way it does business via steps like bundling services, including an IPTV play, to increase customer loyalty and stickiness.

It's also "investing in verticals," Bernauer said, noting the addition of such services as home security offerings and a home monitoring play.

"We have to focus on certain verticals. We can't do everything," he said, noting the goal is to avoid being a "bitpipe."

For more:
totaltelecom has this story

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Swisscom, TDC face tight competition, pricing pressures
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