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Vodafone CEO Vittorio Colao to step down; board changes at TDC

TOP NEWS

* Vodafone Group PLC said that CFO Nick Read will assume the role of CEO, effective Oct. 1, replacing Vittorio Colao. Read will become the company's chief executive-designate on July 27. Deputy CFO Margherita Della Valle will assume the role of CFO and will become a member of the board on the same date.

* TDC A/S announced that CEO Pernille Erenbjerg will resign by the end of the year. In a statement, Erenbjerg said that she is leaving as the group's new owners are embarking on a new strategy and plan to splitt the company into different units. TDC will further change its board, according to a press release. On the suggestion of new owners DK Telekommunikation ApS, the majority of board members steps down, to be replaced by five new members, with Mike Parton as temporary chair.

PAN-EUROPEAN

* Facebook Inc. said it suspended about 200 apps for potential data misuse pending the results of a full investigation. The app suspension follows a chorus of inquiries about Facebook's data policies from lawmakers, regulators and users after Facebook in March disclosed that the now-defunct data analytics company Cambridge Analytica LLC improperly gained access to personal data of millions of Facebook users.

* Uber Technologies Inc. has appointed Jamie Heywood, former director for Amazon.com Inc.'s U.K. operations, as the company's regional general manager for Northern and Eastern Europe, The Irish Independent reports. Heywood will begin in his new role next month.

UK AND IRELAND

* The British Broadcasting Corp. has teamed up with Uktv Media Ltd. and FremantleMedia Group Ltd. unit FremantleMedia International for the production of adventure series "Expedition With Steve Backshall," according to a news release. The first four episodes, which will run for one hour each, will premier on BBC Two in 2019.

* California-based Equinix Inc. will invest $39 million to add 1,075 cabinets across about 3,300 square meters of colocation space at its LD4 International Business Exchange data center in Slough, Greater London. The expansion of the data center, which currently offers 3,777 cabinets across 10,000 square meters, is scheduled to be completed in the fourth quarter, according to a news release.

GERMANY, SWITZERLAND AND AUSTRIA

* ProSiebenSat.1 Media SE announced that it has concluded a collaboration agreement for content and sales with Hubert Burda Media to offer the advertising market additional services as well as cross-media and interlinked products.

* Austrian media regulator KommAustria announced that it has refused two proposals by ORF Broadcasts.

* Vodafone Group PLC unit Vodafone Deutschland Gmbh announced that it has activated a real 5G network in its testing lab in Düsseldorf.

FRANCE

* Iliad, parent company of Free, announced a new executive team including the appointment of Thomas Reynaud as Iliad's CEO, Maxime Lombardini as the chairman of the board of directors, and Nicolas Jaeger as CFO. The new governance will come into effect on May 21.

* Eutelsat Communications SA said its revenues for the? third quarter ending on March 31 amounted to €337.4 million, down by 7.4% compared with the same period the previous year.

* The French Parliament gave final approval to the European data privacy legislation or RGPD, Boursier reports. This brings France into conformity with the new European regulation, the General Data Protection Regulation, which comes into force on May 25.

* Canal Plus Group SA announced that it is offering Apple Inc.'s Apple TV 4K as a choice of decoder. The unit will be available to subscribers in France on May 17 for a rental fee of €6 per month.

NETHERLANDS, BELGIUM AND LUXEMBOURG

* Belsimpel announced that it will become the first official Dutch retailer of OnePlus mobile devices. Belsimpel will position the devices in its physical stores and will provide them in combination with mobile subscriptions.

* Deutsche Telekom AG unit T-Mobile Netherlands' Futurelab is testing an app named Bestuurders Assistant intended for improving safety of mobile phone usage in traffic, according to a press release. The app, developed by Vipconn, should direct drivers' attention on the road by temporarily silencing distracting mobile apps.

* Dutch local broadcasters OmroepN and Radio Barneveld will merge into a new regional station named A1 Media Group, Media Magazine reports. The partnership reportedly is in line with the wish from the Dutch government to merge local stations into larger regional broadcasters.

* Dutch cable provider Stichting Kabel Veendam stated that it will be ready to transmit Formula 1 races in 4K Ultra HD to its customers when Ziggo NV unit Ziggo Sport decides to provide it, TotaalTV reports. Dutch Formula 1 rights owner VodafoneZiggo does not currently not provide an Ultra HD channel to other providers.

NORDIC COUNTRIES

* Telia Co. AB announced that it has reached an agreement with Tele2 AB to terminate the companies' jointly owned 3G network, which is run by joint venture Svenska UMTS-nät AB. The network will be shut down by 2025 but will not affect any customers.

* Norwegian music rights organization TONO announced that it has reported streaming service Tidal to the Norwegian financial police over allegations that Tidal has manipulated streaming figures. TONO said that it must protect the interest of the rights holders and that a police investigation will be in the interest of Tidal, which has claimed that data has been stolen from the company.

* Danish music rights organization Koda said that it has decided to conduct an independent audit into the allegations of manipulation against Tidal. Koda has a revision clause in its deal with Tidal, which obliges the streaming service to make any data available for an audit.

* Production company Nordisk Film announced that it has invested €15 million for a minority stake in Swedish company Star Stable Entertainment AB. Star Stable is best known for its massively multiplayer online role-playing horse game Star Stable Online, which is aimed at girls and has 14 million registered users.

SOUTHERN EUROPE

* French investment firm Antin Infrastructure Partners struck a deal to buy Ufinet Telecom Holding SLU's Spanish business from private equity firm Cinven, Telecompaper reports. The transaction, financial details of which were not disclosed, is expected to result in the separation of the Ufinet Group into two separate companies, with Ufinet Spain purchased by Antin and the international operations of Ufinet bought by the Sixth Cinven Fund.

* Spanish regulator Comisión Nacional de los Mercados y la Competencia has begun an investigation against alleged anticompetitive advertising practices of Mediaset SpA and Atresmedia, Advanced Television reports. The two companies have allegedly imposed investment quotas on media companies and advertising agencies and required them to put advertisements on the broadcasting companies' smaller networks.

EASTERN EUROPE

* The Polish Office of Competition and Consumer Protection has green lit Cyfrowy Polsat SA's proposed take over of Netia SA, Broadband TV News reports. The Polish regulator said that the transaction will not cause a significant reduction in competition in individual local markets.

* AMC Networks Inc. unit AMC Networks International - Central and Northern Europe has appointed Marcel Mares as country manager for Czech Republic and Slovakia, Advanced Television reports. Mares, who previously the manager for sales, distribution and business development at Discovery Inc., will be in charge of overseeing sales and operations in the two countries.

FEATURED NEWS

European deals: Vodafone acquiring Liberty Global assets; Nokia buys IoT startup: Vodafone Group struck a deal to buy Liberty Global's assets in Germany, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Romania for €18.4 billion, while tech company Nokia acquired U.S.-based internet of things applications provider SpaceTime Insight.

FEATURED RESEARCH

The Best Of: Kagan research and analysis, editor's picks: Presenting the editor's top picks from Kagan's exclusive research and analysis for the week ended May 11.

Daniela Latini, Sylvia Edwards Davis, Koen Pijnappels and Esben Svendsen contributed to this report.

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