Europe’s phone companies and their corresponding stocks are among the worst-performers over the past two years in the Stoxx Europe 600 Index, according to Bloomberg. Vodafone Group Plc, Telecom Italia SpA, Telefonica SA and others have been victims of a tight, competitive market, say analysts. That requires increased spending while slashing prices, resulting in higher debt levels and a downturn in stock prices. Bloomberg reports, the main index for the industry hovers near a five-year low.
A European population of around 508 million is serviced by a minimum of 20 major carriers and many regional players, compared to the U.S. and its four major carriers, serving 326 million people. Regulators have prevented consolidations in the U.K. and Denmark, promoting competition and lower prices to consumers.
October 9, 2018