European telecom looks for alliance

European Telecom is looking to challenge the arrival of the new distributors in the UK by inviting other major dealers, independents and distributors to join with it in creating a new industry alliance.

“The UK is a mature and lucrative market in which the major players are constantly looking to squeeze out their smaller competitors, even more so in the past 12 months," said European Telecom chairman Nico Dervisaj, “Next year is going to deliver significant challenges for us all. We have new international entrants, a maturing market and margins under pressure.

“I am looking to create a new alliance to meet these challenges where we all benefit by combining our buying power and skill sets. Working together in this new alliance we will all protect and grow our share of the UK market."

The initiative has been triggered by the arrival here of Brightstar, the world’s largest distributor, and a similarly substantial threat from the Brightpoint/Dangaard combo.

European Telecom says it is already in discussions with “several potential UK alliance partners” but is keen to talk to more. On the other hand, it didn’t seem to have got very far when we spoke to Nico Dervisaj towards the end of last month; “No-one has shown any interest so far,” he said.

He was however fairly dismissive of at least one of the purported threats: “Brightpoint has tried before in the past and didn’t get very far”, he said. “I think they need to have local knowledge on board, maybe by buying out one of the smaller distributors.”

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