Technological dependence, captive market and outsourcing in the Spanish telecommunications equipment industry Angel Calvo (UB)


Technological dependence, captive market and outsourcing in the Spanish telecommunications equipment industry Angel Calvo (UB)


Angel Calvo

Honorary Lecturer (University of Barcelona, Spain)


International Journal of social research

This article addresses the complex relations between the expansion of multinationals and economic nationalism in Southern Europe during a period of industrial crisis, growing economic integration and intense technological change, all amidst a notable alteration of the regulatory framework. The paper focuses on the process of global restructuring of the telecommunications industry in the two final decades of the 20th century and the first years of the new millennium. The period encompasses the transition from an industry based on the close linkage, if not strict integration, between the monopoly of the telephone service and the national telecommunication equipment industry. Methodologically, it is based on a case study – that of the International Telecommunication and Electronics Company -, on an interdisciplinary approach and on varied sources. The article reveals the factors behind the transformation of a vertically integrated company into one that outsourced its production before being engulfed by the globalized economy. It also highlights the role of international markets and, more specifically, the Latin American market.


Keywords: Technological dependence, captive market and outsourcing, Spanish telecommunications equipment industry, Angel Calvo (UB)

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How to cite this article:
Angel Calvo.Technological dependence, captive market and outsourcing in the Spanish telecommunications equipment industry Angel Calvo (UB). International Journal of Social Research, 2020; 4:46. DOI: 10.28933/ijsr-2020-02-0805


References:

1. Diario de sesiones del Parlamento de Andalucía, 9 April 1986, 119, 1st Legislature, p. 5.806. Intelhorce, whose plant was described as “Málaga’s industrial cathedral” (Sur, 31 July 2017), was called a “merry-go-round that has constantly made Málaga dizzy, a carrousel of tension between the public and private sectors”: Intervention by the representative of the centrist parliamentary group, Diario de sesiones del Parlamento de Andalucía, 5, 1st Legislature, 1 March 1983, p. 170. The introduction of Hughes Microelectronics was made possible by the agreement reached between Hughes and the Spanish Government, which included the granting of substantial aid: Written answer of the Ministry of Public Works and Transport to the written question of the Senate. 684/010260 by the Socialist parliamentary group, Boletín Oficial de las Cortes Generales, Senado, 1 de marzo de 1993.
2. A non-exhaustive list of central contributions by economic historians on Spain includes Díaz-Morlán and Sáez-García (2017), pp. 38-50; Díaz Morlán and Sáez García (2017a); Díaz-Morlán (2009), pp. 547-568; Díaz Morlán, Escudero and Sáez (2008), pp. 161-188; Valdaliso (2003), pp. 52-67; Fernández de Pinedo (2003), pp. 28-51; Navarro (2005), pp. 167-184 and (1989). For example, the study by Valdaliso (2010), pp. 194-221. The ICT (Information and Communication Technologies) sector in Spain has deserved attention with an interdisciplinary approach by a restricted group of scholars, among them López (2016), pp. 159-180; López and Molero (2005); López, Pueyo and Zlatanova (2002), pp. 81-96.
3. Calvo (2019a); Calvo (2019b); Calvo (2019c); Calvo (2019d).
4. Author (forthcoming 1); Author (forthcoming 2); Author (en forthcoming 3); Author (forthcoming 4).
5. Dahlstrom and Nygaard (1992), pp. 3-13.
6. ABC, 29 September 1982; small variations in the figures for 31 December 1981: Standard Electricity 55%, Telefónica 12%, Marconi Española 15%: Speech by the President of Citesa, Audio of the session of the Committee on Transport and Communications, Committee on Transport, Tourism and Communications, Congress of Deputies, 2 February 1982. Secondary sources attribute the creation of Citesa to the influence of the German subsidiary of IT&T Standard Electric Lorenz, an extreme that we have not been able to document with primary sources: Instituto Internacional San Telmo (1992), p. 2.
7. It was commonly referred to as the IT&T Business System Group: Información comercial española, 525-529, 1977, p. 193.
8. U.S. Department of Commerce (1984), p. 2.
9. Opinión de Málaga, La (2002). The creation of the new factory was internationally publicized: International Commerce, 14 December 1964, p. 1; Spanish Newsletter, 31 December 1964, p. 8. The factory was a single-height longitudinal workshop with a minimum lateral mezzanine floor, an office building, a water tank and a cooling tower. The diaphanous interior space of the workshop was resolved by means of a structure of composite columns that supported triangular beams of constant section: García de Castro and Mexia (1964), pp. 132-137. CITESA applied the tables and methods of the Scientific Labour Organization, as revealed by an anecdote of a timekeeper who discovered how the time of a step was calculated according to the average size of the American: Cuadernos para el Diálogo, April 3, 1976, pp. 46-48. For a reconstruction of Cytesa’s role in the Andalusian labour movement, see Martínez (coord.) (2005).
10. Ministerio de Industria y Energía (1976), p. 16.
11. ABC, September 29 1982.
12. In the words of one of the protagonists, and therefore, according to an unconfirmed opinion, Citesa did not offer telephones: there was a commercial department and practically a sales management; there were no salespeople because Telefónica was the client and the interlocutors were technical or commercial; the only problem was a problem of factory planning, stopping the materials in time: Casado (2012).
13. Méndez (2000), pp. 56-57; Martínez (2008); Jordá ‎(1991), pp. 141 and 143. By size, measured by profit, Citesa was at the top of the list of the 100 largest Andalusian companies, well ahead of Hughes Microelectrónica: ABC, 1 June 1998. The directors of R&D for Europe and the rest of the world were Keith Preece and Frank Palen, respectively. CITESA technicians developed the Pentomat switchboard, manufactured and assembled by the company: Calvo (2016), 152; Economista: Revista Semanal Científica e Independiente, 1976, p. 30.
14. Ruiz (2005), p. 76.
15. Citesa proudly proclaimed that integration by which it only bought the raw material and manufactured even the screws; the electronic design engineering was created by José Antonio Maestre under the name of electronics laboratory (Lorenzo Martínez) or electronic design laboratory (Casado, 2012); the marketing department was the work of Lorenzo Martínez: Casado (2012); years before there was a commercial structure with an export management, headed by Alfredo Remón, future marketing director: Momento, 1969, p. ix.
16. Participation of these segments: telephones represent 70%; exhanges 25% and minor activities the remaining 5%: Intervention of the president of Citesa, Audio of the session of the Committee of Transport and Communications, Committee of Transport, Tourism and Communications, Congress of Deputies, February 2, 1982.
17. Speech by Palomares, Communist Group, Audio of the session of the Committee on Transport and Communications, Committee on Transport, Tourism and Communications, Congress of Deputies, February 2, 1982.
18. Calvo (2014), pp. 267-268. Citesa obtained the letter of exporter in 1969: BOE, 99, 25 April 1969, p. 6.198. In the same year, it participated in the supply of telephone terminals to Venezuela, within the framework of a vast delivery program for the Five-Year Plan of that country: Momento, 1969, p. ix.
19. The original model of the Herald was called Assistent and the Belgian copy Assistant: Iraburu (2019). Blog Lorenzo Martínez, 29 February 2008. Express restructuring – “a bulldozer” – gave Bell TMC the prospect of maintaining a leading position in telephone exchanges within Alcatel: Le Soir, 18 February 1989.
20. August-September 2009. New models were designed and produced, among them the Marbella, Ibiza and Venturer to substitue the Heraldo and Teide: López (2008), p. 12. The gondola model became the first foreign telephone to be homologated in Japan: Telecommunication Journal, 49, 1982, p. 298; La Vanguardia (LAV), 19 May 1982. DECTs had to be suitable for operation in the 1880-1900 MHz frequency band and be available in the European Community. In addition, they were to provide wireless applications for residential users to be interconnected to ISDN/PSTN and for businesses with public network access to a telephone. A specific application should provide a radio means to extend public and private networks to users’ premises. Finally, it should allow the simultaneous operation of two or more independent systems in the same geographical area: August-September 2009. Once the manufacture of the Heraldo and Teide was closed, new models were designed and produced, among them the Marbella, Ibiza and Venturer: López (2008), p. 12. The gondola model became the first foreign telephone to be homologated in Japan: Telecommunication Journal, 49, 1982, p. 298; LAV, 19 May 1982. DECTs had to be suitable for operation in the 1880-1900 MHz frequency band and be available in the European Community. In addition, they were to provide wireless applications for residential users to be interconnected to ISDN/PSTN and for businesses with public network access to a telephone. A specific application should provide a radio means to extend public and private networks to users’ premises. Finally, it should allow the simultaneous operation of two or more independent systems in the same geographical area: Council Recommendation of 3 June 1991 on the coordinated introduction of digital European cordless telecommunications (DECT) into the Community, 91/288/EEC.
21. Dataquest (1990), p. 9; European Communities (1996), p. 45; Computer Busines Review, 15 February 5th July 1989; Practical Computing, 10, 1987, p. 19; El País, 30 January 1987. The Spanish press reported an agreement between Amstrad PLC, Amstrad España and the United States company Telequest to manufacture televisions and telephones in Spain: ABC, 26 January 1988.
22. Alcatel Citesa SA (1999), pp. 7-8. The production of integrated circuits in Taiwan, for example, had grown impressively in previous years: the United States. Bureau of International Commerce (1974), p. 110. By then, the Taiwanese ICT industry had gone through three distinct stages – embryonic (1978-1985), growth (1986-1989) and shock (1990-1992): Lee and Pecht (1997), p. 31. According to the viability plan, the factory in Malaga in 1996 should have manufactured 470.000 DECT terminals exclusively for the whole of Europe but only 16 % of that figure was reached: Intervention of the spokesman of the g.p. Izquierda Unida-Convocatoria por Andalucía (R. Rodríguez Bermúdez), Diario de sesiones del Parlamento de Andalucía, 81, III Legislatura, 13 de octubre de 1992, p. 4.075.
23. El País, June 25, 1981; Appearance by Mr. Carlos Tiana Viají, President of the International Telecommunications and Electronics Company, Corporation (CITESA), to report on medium-term investment plans in the communications sector, (211/000573), May 22, 1981. Underlying this is a debate between IT&T, CTNE and the unions over the multinational’s accounting practice. In fact, a CTNE document revealed that the 4% royalties on accounts that Citesa – and also SESA – paid to IT&T were accounted for as cost of sales: El País, 1 and 17 November 1983.
24. Alcatel Citesa SA (1999), p. 2; Bennetts (1994), p. 164. Citesa was credited with being present with its products in 1976, the year of the contract with Nigeria to be carried out in five years and for a value of more than 26 million dollars, in more than half a hundred countries: Economista: Revista Semanal Científica e Independiente, 88, 1976, p. 53.
25. The workers’ negotiators were aware of the power of the multinational IT&T and the possibility that it would use the threat of ceasing its activity in Spain: Fact sheet of the trade union section of Comisiones obreras of Standard Eléctrica, Madrid, 31 August 1982, pp. 4 and 20. The mechanical workshops of Citesa, as well as those of Toledo, were to be dismantled and only those of Villaverde would survive.
26. The employment redundancy programmes affected 2,700, 1,400 and 400 workers, respectively: González (1982), pp. 8-10. In July 1982, the government granted the IT&T group in Spain ESP 4,600 million in official credit, subject to investment commitments, among others. The announcement of a workforce regulation file, which would affect 700 workers, led to mobilisations: El País, 2 March 1982.
27. In the face of press reports, the company refused to provide guarantees and extensions: Intervention of the President of Citesa, Audio of the session of the Transport, Tourism and Communications Commission, Congress of Deputies, 2 February 1982.
28. Most important customers in 1982: Telefónica with approximately 60 % and other national customers with 21,5 %; 18,5 % went to export: Speech by the President of Citesa, Audio of the session of the Committee on Transport, Tourism and Communications, Congress of Deputies, 2 February 1982.
29. Manuel Márquez Balín†, Madrid, 18 July 1983; the remaining workforce was integrated into Villaverde: López (2008), p. 9; LAV, 25 November 1982; ABC, 29 September 1982; Network World, 14 December 1987, p. 5. The share capital of Standard Eléctrica was set at more than 12,335 million pesetas: El País, 25 November and 29 September 1982. It was known that SESA tended to turn to other sister companies in the IT&T group to supply Telefónica with new imported products, such as AUTRAX measuring equipment for the management of complete telephone systems: El País, 1 November 1983.
30. Supreme Court, Madrid, Section 2, 15/12/2008. Of the importance of copper in the previous phase, speak, for example, the warnings to Citesa by IT&T – later involved in the conspiracy against the socialist president – about the possible alteration of prices with the triumph of Allende in Chile: United States. Congress. Senate (1973), p. 301.
31. López (2008), p. 10; González (1982), pp. 8-10.
32. Statement by the President of Citesa, Audio of the session of the Committee on Transport and Communications Committee on Transport, Tourism and Communications, Congress of Deputies, 2 February 1982; Alcatel Citesa S.A. (1999), p. 2. For digitalization in general, see Stone (2015), pp. 157–165.
33. Royal Decree-Law 9/1981, of June 5, on measures for industrial reconversion, BOE, 138, June 10, 1981, pp. 13,115-13,117; it was reported in the press: El País, May 13, 1981 and replaced by Law 21/1982, of June 9, 1982, on measures for industrial reconversion (in force until December 31, 1982): BOE, 169, July 16, 1982, p. 19,293. In the opinion of one of its main architects, the reconversion was based on a “pragmatic system of privatizations” whose functioning initially fitted into the processes marked by the Ministry of Industry. The privatisation system defined that companies that were not viable should be closed down, but others that had the opportunity to become viable needed to form part of a group: SEPI, Press Room, 26 November 2018.
34. Written reply from the Ministry of Public Works and Transport to the Socialist Group’s written question 684/010260 on the existence of a medium- and long-term viability plan for Fujitsu España, S. A.’s manufacturing plant in Malaga.
35. Royal Decree 1,380/1984, of 20 June, declaring the conversion of the IT&T España group of companies (Standard Eléctrica, S. A., and Marconi Española, Sociedad Anónima); for further details, see Author (forthcoming). Some scholars (Benton, 1990, p. 171) directly include Citesa as a company in conversion according to the aforementioned Royal Decree.
36. One of the major unions -CCOO- opposed the agreement proposed by the Administration, considering it unfeasible if there were no certain guarantees of the demand of CTNE and because it meant putting the economic strengthening of the IT&T group on the backs of the Administration and the workers, due to very strong increases in productivity and layoffs. One of the demands was to bring Citesa’s wages and working conditions into line with those of SESA: Federación del Metal de CCOO, Secciones de CCOO del grupo IT&T, Madrid, 12 January 1984. Citesa, like Marconi, had lost some ESP 800 million in 1980. The need to restructure the activities and size of both, especially of one of Citesa’s sections, which was in direct competition with Standard, emerged. Within a situation of blockade of the collective negotiation and worker’s mobilization, Citesa proposed a salary increase of 7% and reduction of the working day; in Marconi, the offer was of a 3% salary increase, conditioned to the acceptance of the employment regulation, denied by the labor authority the previous day: El País, January 24, 1981.
37. Admission to procedure of the request for the appearance of the Councillor for Development and Work before the Committee on Economy, Industry and Energy, in order to present a report, be known and be debated in the meeting about the situation of the workers of CITESA, located in Malaga, and presented by the Honourable Mr. Andrés Cuevas González and five other Deputies, of the g.p. Izquierda Unida-Call for Andalusia: Boletín Oficial del Parlamento de Andalucía (Official Gazette of the Parliament of Andalusia), 213, June 14, 1988, p. 6,553.
38. Even with an emphasis on specialization in the field of audiotelephony, the planned production included telephone sets, multiple systems, voice and data systems, prepaid devices, wireline devices, telepoint system devices, cellular radio telephones and low-capacity peripheral equipment and switchboards: Non-Law proposal regarding the employment and economic situation of Alcatel-Citesa, presented by the Izquierda Unida Group – Call for proposals by Andalusia, Boletín Oficial del Parlamento de Andalucía, 102, 27 September 1991, p. 3.878.
39. It is noteworthy the evasive answer from the Government, by the Minister of Industry Aranzadi, to the inquiry about the measures to guarantee the compliance with the agreements between the CTNE and CITESA: “CITESA is a manufacturer of telecommunications equipment and, therefore, a supplier of Telefónica de España, S. A. This company is a private company, with State participation, whose purchasing management is carried out by its administrative bodies to achieve a better profitability”: Diario de Sesiones del Senado, 66, May 7, 1991, pp. 3,604-3,605.
40. 7 May 1991, pp. 3.604-3.605; the number of employees was 74 less than the figure committed and 331 workers were on unemployment proceedings: Boletín Oficial del Parlamento de Andalucía, 102, 27 September 1991, p. 3.878. The right-wing opposition in the Andalusian Parliament recognised the effort made – investment of more than 9.The right-wing opposition in the Andalusian parliament recognised the effort made – investment of over 9 billion pesetas in the four-year unemployment plan in Malaga – and the achievements – conversion into a world leader in some products – while at the same time demanding that the regional government bear the cost of R&D: Speech by the spokesman for the popular parliamentary group in Andalusia (Gutiérrez de Ravé), Diario de sesiones del Parlamento de Andalucía, 81, III Legislatura, 13 October 1992, p. 4.071.
41. In 1991, the political opposition denounced the lack of control over the redundancies and the employment regulations, supported by public money, as well as Alcatel’s incentives to subcontracting and, with them, the underground economy: Diario de Sesiones del Senado, 66, May 7, 1991, 4,071, pp. 3,604-3,605.
42. Question by the representative of the Mixed Group, 29 April 1991, Archivo de las Cortes Generales, Senado; Intervention by the representative of the Izquierda Unida-Convocatoria por Andalucía Group, (United Left Group – Call for Andalusia), Diario de sesiones del Parlamento de Andalucía, 81, III Legislatura, 13 October 1992, pp. 4,066-4,074. In addition to the crisis that Alcatel-Citesa had been going through for some time in the province of Malaga, there was also the weakness and fragility of the industrial sector, visible in the disappearance in fifteen years of fifty companies in the metal sector with a significant destruction of employment and wealth: Intervention by the representative of the Izquierda Unida-Convocatoria por Andalucía Group, Diario de sesiones del Parlamento de Andalucía, 81, III Legislatura, 13 October 1992, pp. 4.066-4.074. Here there is an important debate. The spokesman for the Andalusian parliamentary group exempted Citesa from responsibility for the serious situation and blamed the lawsuit. According to him, Telefónica awarded Interisa, which is owned by a former Telefónica CEO, a contract for more than half a million telephones per year for several years, worth some 18 billion pesetas. Interisa, a non-manufacturing company, should simply act as an intermediary and subcontract with companies based in Spain, or, in the worst case, buy the requested products in the Far East, without generating jobs or added value for the Spanish economy: Intervention of the spokesman of the Andalusian parliamentary group, Diario de sesiones del Parlamento de Andalucía, 81, III Legislatura, 13 October 1992, p. 4.070.
43. SESA senior executive Marquez Balin (2016, p. 94) pointed out that it would not be fair to point to Alcatel as the great culprit.
44. Alcatel Citesa SA (1999).
45. The left-wing opposition criticised the Autonomous Government for the lack of a design, within the framework of general policy, of adequate policies for intervention and dialogue with the multinationals: Hearing of the Minister of Labour to report on the plans to reduce the workforce by the company of ALCATEL-CITESA and on the implementation of the agreement adopted by the Parliament of Andalusia in plenary session on 13 October 1992, concerning the viability and maintenance of employment in ALCATEL-CITESA, Diario de sesiones de comisiones (Journal of Committee Sessions), Documentary Fund No 74, III Legislature, 19 May 1993, p. 4. The aid was intended for the start of civil works, the manufacture of the new digital wireless telephone in a quantity of 300,000 units per year and the maintenance of the level of employment for ten years: Alcatel Citesa SA (1999), p. 3; Alcatel – Citesa, Diario 1 (Canal Sur TV), Ephemeris of 9 June, consulted at http://blogs.canalsur.es/documentacionyarchivo/malaga-la-fabrica-de-telefonos-de-alcatel-citesa-en-martiricos/
46. Alcatel Citesa (l999b), p. 2
47. Alcatel Citesa SA (1999), p. 4; CDTI, “News”, June 1994, p. 5. Between 1994 and 1996, the Ministry of Industry and Energy granted Citesa a total of 296,678,074 pts. as subsidies for investments in specific R&D projects on GSM, POS, DEC and CTO technologies: Parallel Multiprocessor System for Control of Telephone Terminals; Multiline System according to the European Digital Cordless Telecommunication (DECT) Standard: CDTI, “News”, June 1994, p. 5.
48. Alcatel Citesa (l999b), p. 6.
49. Alcatel Citesa SA (1999), p. 16.
50. Alcatel Citesa SA (1999), p. 4.
51. We underline the official reference to the investment in machinery of Citesa in the Malaga factory – about 3,500 million pesetas: Ministerio de Industria y Energía (1994), p. 144. They included: 3D mechanical design systems (Proengineer) and computer aided printed circuit board topological design (Menthor graphics); electronics, radio frequency, telephonometry and electro-acoustics laboratories; Faraday and low noise cameras; Getel cell for electromagnetic radiation measurements; personal computer in all work stations; local area network and Internet network. After the industrial investments of the plan, the basic equipment of the Alcatel Citesa factory was at the end of 1998 the following: automatic warehouse for components management; printed circuit board assemblies: four miniature component lines with a capacity of 360 million components per year and an inert atmosphere wave soldering machine; inert atmosphere refusion oven; automatic machines for inserting conventional components with an annual capacity of 105 million components; structural test equipment integrated into the assembly lines; assembly lines for final assembly of devices: automatic for telephones with a capacity of 1,5 million devices per year, for public telephones (150.000), automatic for DECT terminals (250,000) and for DECT base stations (275,000); automatic test equipment and new SAP manufacturing management computer system put into operation in January 1999: Alcatel Citesa (1999), pp. 6-7. The new factory for the subsidiary CITESA had an annual production capacity of 1.3 million terminals and made sales of PTA 173 billion in 1994, the bulk of which was exports: Computerworld, 10 November 1995.
52. Junta de Andalucía, Council of Economy and Finance, Málaga, 1998.
53. Alcatel Citesa, Intervention, 1999.
54. Comité de empresa de Alcatel-Citesa (1992), p. 2.
55. The PCR or access terminal was an electronic device with a concentration or distribution mission, similar to the current PTR: Calvo (2016), pp. 220-221.
56. López (2008), p. 12.
57. Testimony, José Luis Casado, 8/2008; Casado (2012); Approval certificate to the Alcatel cordless phone, model Delta II, manufactured by Sampo Corporation in Taiwan: BOE, 299, December 14, 1990, p. 37.306.
58. Alcatel Citesa (1999), p. 10.
59. Alcatel Citesa (1999), pp. 7-10.
60. New features of the digital UA model: identification, hands-free, amplifiable reception, messaging, date and time display, call status information: Alcatel Citesa (1999), pp. 7-10.
61. Alcatel Citesa (1999), pp. 7-10.
62. Alcatel Citesa’s software engineering R&D department in Málaga developed the code governing the functions of a telephone and designed the models for the domestic market, i.e. Telefónica, and for export, predominantly to Latin America: BIT, 174, April-May, p. 11.
63. Rafael Vertedor, Testimony, December 9, 2007.
64. The course was as follows: meeting held at STL (Harlow), transmission of information by Standard Telephones & Cables of Sydney, contacts of Citesa with STC Sydney and with IT&T in Spain and IT&T in New York; assignment of manufacturing to Málaga and trip to Sydney to negotiate with Australian Telecom; meetings with Australian Telecom in Sydney and in Melbourne; achievement of the order and start of deliveries in 1982; quality problems; trip to Sydney in 1983; study of the problem in Sydney, Harlow (STL), Málaga and CMOS manufacturer’s laboratories (IT&T Intermetall, Fribourg); discovery of the cause in Málaga; stay in Málaga of a Chilean inspector from STC Sydney: Lorenzo Martinez, Testimony, September 15, 2008; another protagonist speaks about the after-sales assistance when referring to “work trips I made for Citesa”: Rafael Vertedor, Testimony, December 30, 2007.
65. Manuel Márquez Balín, Personal communication, 5 June 2017; BIT, June-July 1980, p. 31. In the Asian telecommunication industry, technical support and hardware maintenance were usually provided by the large telecommunication equipment suppliers, including Alcatel-Lucent: Emerging Strategy (2008), p. 3.
66. In accounting and financial matters, Málaga continued to operate as a division of SESA, whose accounting was consolidated in Madrid and the reporting to the parent company Alcatel moved from Brussels to Paris. As for treasury, which was totally centralized in SESA, the need for financial resources such as the liquidity positions generated in Málaga were managed daily by the central treasury through automatic transfers in one direction or another until the morning balance of the bank was zero: Testimony of Ángel López Esteve, April 2008.
67. El País, 26 February 2000. The Competition commission takes note of the takeover by Thomson Multimedia, S. A. of the whole of Alcatel Citesa, S.A. through OTALEC: CNMC, 11 November 1999.
68. The performance at the TRT-Philips factory in Brive showed A Novo the way to transform a production plant into another one for industrialized services, infrastructure maintenance and technology for new products. In addition to Málaga, A Novo acquired a factory in Milan. In 1998, it embarked on a process of international expansion with various acquisitions, including a 74% stake in the Spanish company Sadelta, which specialises in the mobile phone business and has two subsidiaries, Tecnosoporte, located in Barcelona, and Coretel, based in Valencia, of which it owned 100% and 50%, respectively. This acquisition allowed A Novo to build a partnership with Airtel, the future Spanish subsidiary of Vodafone: A Novo (2000-2001), p. 5. Sadelta began its activity in premises in Barcelona and then moved to the Vallés Technology Park, a pioneer of technology parks in Spain: Bennetts (1994), pp. 7-9; LAV, 25 November 1982. In 1997, Thomson focused on the manufacture and assembly of key components and consumer products, accounting for 98% of sales. The significant deterioration in the operating results and financial situation in the 1990s forced a recapitalization by the French State, through TSA, the former Thomson SA. Several restructuring and re-engineering initiatives allowed profitability to be restored. In mid-2000, Thomson deployed a repositioning strategy by incorporating new segments of the video industry into the traditional consumer electronics market+: US Securities and Exchange Commission, file number 0-3003, 2003, p. 23.
69. Chairman of the Works Council of A Novo Comlinks Spain to M. Chaves, President of the Junta de Andalucía, 8 April 2005.
70. Asociación Atlinks-A Novo, Colombes, 1 December 2001; L’Atelier, 13 November 2000 A Novo was established in fourteen countries and was active in video and telecommunications, e-money and information technology. As agreed, Alcatel had an option to sell its 50% stake in Atlinks as of October 2002. By a February agreement between the partners, Thomson was to pay EUR 68 million in cash in exchange for Alcatel’s stake in Atlinks: Thomson Group, Annual Report 2005, p. 132.
71. Rafael Márquez Gallo, Málaga, 24 January 2001, For the attention of the Works Council of Atlinks España. In January 2001, the A Novo group set up A Novo Comlink in which it acquired a 33% stake, doubling it the following year and bringing it under full control: A Novo (2000-2001), p. 26. A Novo Comlink España, arose from the transfer of assets from Atlinks España and the combination of all its Spanish service activities: A Novo (2000-2001), p. 38.
72. Only half a year after starting the repair activity, A Novo Comlinks was already carrying out repairs on 150,000 units a year and was aiming to win a contract from Telefónica Móviles: A Novo (2000-2001), p. 26.
73. Chairman of the Works Council of A Novo Comlinks Spain to M. Chaves, President of the Junta de Andalucía, 8 April 2005.
74. La Última Milla, 2, January 2006, p. 5. In 1988, Thomson Telecom España SA was set up to import, manufacture, sell, export, install and maintain telecommunications, electronic and computer equipment, systems and accessories: Málaga Register of Companies, sheet MA-3.647, volume 1,633, folio 69, 18/11/1988.
75. The redundancy programme contemplated the dismissal in September 2005 of all those over 55 years of age, who would go into partial retirement at the age of 60, until the age of 65 when the definitive retirement took place: Testimony of Ángel López Esteve, April 2008. The market for DECT standard phones in Europe grew from more than six million units in 1998 to 11 million two years later. Atlinks manufactured phones, Internet terminals and modems for Alcatel, Thomson, General Electric and RCA; it made half of its sales in the USA and 30% in Europe: Les Échos, 30 June 2000. Miscellaneous electronics included desktops and laptops, game consoles and TV set-top boxes: Sur, 17 January 2010.
76. Casado (2012).