Trump Cost ZTE $700 Million in Italian Telecom Work

(Bloomberg) -- Ericsson AB won a 600 million-euro ($700 million) contract to supply wireless equipment to Wind Tre SpA, according to people with knowledge of the matter, dealing a blow to China’s ZTE Corp., which lost part of the deal after being barred from buying U.S. technology.

The Swedish telecommunications equipment manufacturer signed a multiyear accord last month to provide base stations for about 60 percent of Wind Tre’s Italian mobile networks, said the people, who asked not to be identified because it hasn’t been announced. Ericsson’s services will include installation and bringing equipment online, the people added.

ZTE was selected almost two years ago by Wind Tre’s owners, CK Hutchison Holdings Ltd. and Veon Ltd., at the time VimpelCom, to merge and manage their mobile networks in Italy in a $1 billion deal. ZTE has since been barred from buying U.S. technology over allegations that it lied about selling equipment to Iran and North Korea. Now, Italy’s largest mobile carrier has awarded a big chunk of that deal to Ericsson.

Representatives for Ericsson and Wind Tre declined to comment.

Separately on Tuesday, CK agreed to buy Veon’s 50 percent stake in Wind Tre for 2.45 billion euros. The cash transaction requires regulatory approval and is expected to close in the third quarter or early in the fourth, Veon said.

As of December, Wind Tre had 32.2 million subscribers, including fixed-line accounts, and annual revenue of 6.2 billion euros.

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