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Nokia to address gender pay gap; France to deploy 5G in 2020

TOP NEWS

* Nokia Corp. is releasing a special budget to help close the "unexplained" pay gap between the company's female and male employees by July 1. The Finnish tech giant also plans to conduct pay equity reviews every year to make sure that the eliminated wage gaps remain closed, said President and CEO Rajeev Suri in a May 21 blog post.

* France will start 5G deployment in 2020 despite the difficulties affecting Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd., which could lead some French operators to change their supplier, according to Regulatory Authority for Electronic Communications and Post President Sébastien Soriano, Challenges reports. Soriano said no French telecom operator had Huawei as its sole supplier in the major cities.

PAN-EUROPEAN

* European Union antitrust regulators are expected to decide on International Business Machines Corp.'s proposed $34 billion acquisition of Red Hat Inc. on June 27, Reuters reports. The EU can either decide to approve the deal or launch a full-scale investigation.

UK AND IRELAND

* British Telecom will broadcast the 2019 UEFA Europa League and Champions League finals in the U.K. through the BT Sport app, BT Sport YouTube channel or through Virgin Media.

* Naomi Carter has been appointed director of production for factual entertainment and events at BBC Studios Ltd. unit BBC Studios Productions Ltd. Under the newly created role, Carter will head the production and business teams and help in the unit's commercial strategy. British Broadcasting Corp. owns BBC Studios.

* The English Premier League is extending its production tie-up with IMG for Premier League Productions until the end of the 2021-2022 season, Advanced Television reports. The deal extension will see 76 Premier League matches per season aired in 4K/Ultra HD resolution through various platforms.

* U.K. free-to-air broadcaster Freesat has appointed David Thomas as head of product, TBI Vision reports. Thomas previously served as head of product at Novastone Media Ltd.

* Video software company Synamedia has teamed up with U.S.-headquartered Evergent Technologies Inc. to integrate the Evergent Revenue and Customer Management platform into Synamedia's Infinite platform. The partnership is expected to improve Synamedia's delivery of direct-to-consumer video services.

GERMANY, SWITZERLAND AND AUSTRIA

* Tamedia AG will change management at Zattoo Europa AG's executive board, following the Swiss company's acquisition of the German TV platform Zattoo Europa AG. Samuel Hügli will be taking over as chairman of Zattoo from Bea Knecht.

* BumerangTV, a free, ad-supported video-on-demand service, has gone live in Germany, Broadband TV News reports. The platform will initially offer access to content from Turkey and Spain, with series from Russia and Arab countries to be added eventually.

* Daniel Fard-Yazdani, the co-head of investor relations at Axel Springer SE, will take responsibility for groupwide sustainability. Effective June 1, he will be responsible for capital market communications as head of investor relations and head of sustainability.

FRANCE

* The French government will decide on 5G network-related matters based on security and performance, Reuters reports, citing a statement from Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire. The official stated that no specific operator is to be ruled out.

NETHERLANDS, BELGIUM AND LUXEMBOURG

* A court in the Netherlands has decided that Deutsche Telekom AG unit T-Mobile Netherlands BV must withdraw its radio commercials that highlight price increases by competitor VodafoneZiggo. VodafoneZiggo had complained that the radio commercials were unfair. Deutsche Telekom AG

* The Belgian government has decided it will ban all pay-to-win schemes games by Nintendo Co. Ltd. because they fall under gambling activities in the country. Users will not be able to download or play the games "Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp" and "Fire Emblem Heroes" from Aug. 27.

* VodafoneZiggo will shutter its analog cable service in the provinces of Drenthe and Groningen from July 8 and will switch all of its customers to digital services. The provider started shutting down analog TV last year and is gradually switching to all-digital.

* The Dutch Corporate Appeals Court has withdrawn a €2 million fine imposed on KPN NV in 2015 by regulator ACM. The provider was previously fined for not offering its SDF backhaul service to competitors operating on its network, but the Dutch court decided that KPN did publish a wholesale offer for the service in 2006.

NORDIC COUNTRIES

* Telia Co. AB is reducing staff in its Norwegian business by about 10%, representing around 240 positions. The move comes after Telia Norway acquired TDC A/S' Norwegian businesses Get AS and TDC Norway AS. Telia Norway CEO Abraham Foss said that the company is under considerable pressure on both the top and bottom line, and needs to build a more competitive organization.

* Swedish game company Sharkmob AB has been acquired by Chinese tech giant Tencent Holdings Ltd. for an undisclosed sum. Sharkmob was founded two years ago and is working on an unannounced online game.

* Ericsson has opened a 5G innovation hub in Moscow, where Russian service providers can test innovations on live 5G and internet of things networks. This includes testing use cases, securing certification, testing consumer devices and piloting advanced technologies.

SOUTHERN EUROPE

* El Salvador's Superintendency of Competition has disapproved América Móvil SAB de CV's proposed €277 million acquisition of Telefónica SA's local unit, noting that the bid was "inadmissible," Reuters reports. América Móvil has vowed to make a another attempt to seek regulatory approval for the deal.

* Telecom Italia SpA is in discussions with five banks to form a joint venture that would offer consumer credit services, Reuters reports, quoting company CEO Luigi Gubitosi. Meanwhile, Gubitosi said he prefers that the Italian telco keep control of its fixed-line network should a merger with Enel SpA's fiber infrastructure unit Enel Open Fiber SpA push through, according to a separate Reuters report.

* Sportitalia is launching four new free-to-air thematic TV channels on its digital terrestrial platform in July, Advanced Television reports. The Italian broadcaster will make the Sportitalia HD, SI Solo Calcio, SI Motori and SI Live24 channels available to users free of charge.

EASTERN EUROPE

* Gyorgy Zsembery is stepping down as CEO of Ukrainian cable operator Volia, effective July 1, Broadband TV News reports. Zsembery, who will remain with Volia as board vice chairman, will be replaced in the CEO role by Anton Dzyubenko.

* China International Group Corp. and Czech businessman Jaromir Soukup have made a further investment in Empresa Media as, which owns broadcaster Barrandov TV, Broadband TV News reports, citing Digizone. The parties raised their investment to 110 million Czech koruny from 20 million koruny. Soukup will remain Empresa's majority shareholder with a 51% stake.

* Russia's Mobile TeleSystems PJSC is seeking to expand its partnership with South Korea's KT Corp. on the development of 5G networks, Telecompaper reports, citing The Korea Herald.

* Online video services in Russia would be required to register their audiences using the state accounting system, under proposed amendments to the law on cinema support, Telecompaper reports, citing Vedomosti.

* Search engine Yandex NV tapped Nikolay Golovin to head its video production unit, Telecompaper reports, citing Vedomosti. Golovin was previously chief producer at Russian TV channel Friday.

FEATURED NEWS

Confidence in UK technology companies hit as early-stage investment falls: Some 28% of 200 technology advocates surveyed said they have experienced investors deferring investment decisions as a direct result of the uncertainty around Brexit.

Data Dispatch: Supply ban would hurt Huawei's global ambition: Huawei remains on good terms with U.S. companies and would continue to buy their chipsets for its smartphones and laptops, Huawei founder and CEO Ren Zhengfei said in a press briefing May 21.

OSN acquires food programming content; My-HD airs Insight TV channel: OSN has acquired about 40 hours of content from Gusto Worldwide Media, while My-HD adds Insight TV's HD channel to its lineup.

FEATURED RESEARCH

Economics of Advertising: Cable network Q1'19 ad revenue recap: Analysis for the quarter, with historical trending tables, shows higher pricing at the publicly traded cable network programmers mitigating declines in linear impressions.

Anne Freier, Sylvia Edwards Davis, Charlotte van Hek and Esben Svendsen contributed to this report.

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