It’s been widely reported in NZ about the resignation of the Alcatel-Lucent NZ CE.  A few months ago this would have got a 1/2 paragraph on page 17, but in case anyone has been living under a rock in the last 2 months, Alcatel are the company that provided the hardware for, and the maintenance of, Telecom’s NZ’s XT Mobile network (their new fan-dancy one) that keeps breaking.  Many of the headlines are pretty blunt and hinting to the reasons behind the resignation, such as Telecom XT network builder CEO resigns (this article also states “No reason was given for his sudden departure”.)

Here’s where I think the (mainstream) NZ media got it wrong.  There is a MUCH bigger story that has been more or less missed in the NZ media Alcatel was recently fined over $NZ 190 million ($US $137 million) over bribe allegations.  This issues puts the XT issues into perspective.  Unfortunately the NZ media is so focused on “mobile phones not working every few weeks” that the fact that a business was fined something of that scale, and it effected the share price significantly

Alcatel fell as much as 2.6 percent in Paris trading today. The company’s American depositary receipts, each representing one ordinary share, dropped 6 cents, or 2.1 percent, to $2.77 at 10:27 a.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading.

Do some investigation here (that’s the media’s job after all!).  Maybe it’s unrelated to NZ in any direct sense (ie there is no bribery allegations about NZ, but has anyone looked?). It’s such a BIG issue about a company that’s in the news a lot at the moment that it’s worthy of a serious look.

2.6% and 2.1% is significant in terms of a one off share change in a day. I haven’t seen ANY reports of the Alcatel share price falling as a result of XT issues (well not yet anyway!), so it shows that the market understand what’s important here.

Black and White Version: NZ media need to stop naval gazing, sometimes stuff happens outside NZ that is VERY relevant that they are missing.

UPDATE 11.38am: Telecom’s Chief technical Officer has resigned (and I think one CAN say thats over XT).  Watch the media jump over that!

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