In this monthly Best of Nordics feature, S&P Global Market Intelligence provides a roundup of recent market developments in Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland and Iceland.
* Mobile game publisher Rovio Entertainment Oyj set the price of its IPO at €11.50 per share, at the top of its expected range, equaling a market capitalization of about €896 million for the "Angry Birds" maker. The Finnish company will issue 2,608,696 new shares for the IPO, amounting to about 3.3% of the total number of outstanding shares after the offering.
* China's Tencent Holdings Ltd. tried to acquire Spotify AB earlier this year in an attempt to expand its music business beyond China and Asia, but was turned down, TechCrunch reported Sept. 15, citing a source with knowledge of the matter. The news comes amid reports that the Sweden-based music-streaming platform is planning on going public in the U.S. in 2018.
INTERNET, OTT AND MOBILE
* Norwegian over-the-top service provider Opera TV AS has changed its name to Vewd. Along with the new brand's launch at IBC in Amsterdam on Sept. 15, Vewd also rolled out enhancements to its existing technologies as well as new products.
* Telefónica SA has tapped Nokia Corp. to test technologies that will help prepare the Spanish telco's network for 5G. Under the partnership, Nokia will conduct trials of its 4.5G, 4.5G Pro and 4.9G technologies via Telefónica's network, the companies said Sept. 13.
* Nokia and ZTE Corp. have bagged the 60-billion-Indian-rupee, or nearly US$938 million, network expansion project of state-owned telco BSNL, The Economic Times (India) reported Sept. 8. The project will involve the installation of 40,000 base transceiver stations, which will be a combination of 2G, 3G and 4G sites, in India.
CONTENT, CARRIAGE AND LICENSING DEALS
* Microsoft Corp. is shuttering its music-streaming service Groove Music Pass on Dec. 31. The company on Oct. 2 announced a music-streaming partnership with Spotify and is inviting existing Groove customers to migrate their playlists and music collections to the service.
* Ericsson AB agreed to provide content discovery services to Finnish telecom operator DNA Oyj, the tech giant said Sept. 14. As part of the deal, the tech giant will provide editorial and metadata services for more than 150 TV channels available on DNA's cable TV, digital terrestrial network and broadband platforms.
* NBCUniversal Media LLC's reality TV-themed video-streaming service, hayu, has had an "exceptional" year, according to Hendrik McDermott, senior vice president of branded on-demand for NBCUniversal International. However, the service foresees a number of language barriers as it carves out its international expansion strategy. Speaking Sept. 14 at the International Broadcasting Convention in Amsterdam, McDermott said that hayu is targeting a fourth-quarter launch in Norway, in partnership with commercial broadcaster TV2, followed by Sweden, Denmark and Finland by the year's end.
* Netflix Inc. and production company FLX struck a deal for a Swedish original series, "Störst av Allt (Quicksand)," according to a Sept. 7 news release. Pontus Edgren will produce the series, which is set to go into production in 2018.
* Hulu LLC teamed up with Spotify to offer U.S. college students a $4.99-a-month streaming bundle. Eligible students can sign up for Spotify Premium for Students, now with Hulu to stream music, television shows and movies through a single subscription plan, the U.S. company said Sept. 7.
REGULATORY AND LEGAL
* Telia Co. AB on Sept. 21 said that it has agreed to pay $965 million in penalties to settle a corruption probe involving bribes paid in Uzbekistan to set up a local subsidiary. The company reached a global settlement with the U.S. SEC, the U.S. Department of Justice, and Dutch and Swedish law enforcement to resolve charges related to violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
* Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. is also scouting for possible locations for its second data center in Europe, Bloomberg News reported Sept. 28, citing Lin Luo, Alibaba's deputy director for international government and public affairs. The e-commerce giant is particularly considering Sweden as one of the potential sites.