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Vivendi-Telecom Italia deal approved; Capita, Vodafone drop pager deal

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Vivendi-Telecom Italia deal approved; Capita, Vodafone drop pager deal

TOP NEWS

* The European Commission announced that it approved Vivendi SA's plan to gain control of Telecom Italia SpA, after the French media conglomerate agreed to divest Telecom Italia's stake in broadcasting services provider Persidera. Vivendi's offer to divest the Persidera stake came after the European Commission raised concerns that post-takeover, Vivendi might charge TV channels more for wholesale access to digital terrestrial TV networks, "where Persidera and Mediaset each hold a significant share."

* The U.K.'s Competition and Markets Authority announced that Capita plc's planned acquisition of Vodafone Group Plc's pager business will not push through. The two companies confirmed that they abandoned the deal, after the CMA said that it would be subjected to an in-depth probe.

UK AND IRELAND

* Researchers at U.S. intelligence company Flashpoint said fluent Chinese-speaking hackers could have created the WannaCry ransomware cyberattack, which hit institutions in 150 countries including Britain's National Health Service, London's The Daily Telegraph reports.

* Vodafone Ireland will spend €120 million on a business and IT transformation program, which will result in a fully converged product and billing system for the telco's customers, Dublin's Irish Independent reports.

* ITV Plc unit ITV Studios Ltd. promoted Mike Beale to the newly created role of managing director for the Nordics and global creative network, effective June. Beale, currently executive vice president of global development and formats, will take charge of ITV Studios' production business in the Nordic countries.

GERMANY, SWITZERLAND AND AUSTRIA

* German cable network operator Tele Columbus Group announced an extension to its cooperation with satellite and IP platform operator M7 Group SA, to include Tele Columbus subsidiaries primacom and pepcom. As part of the deal, M7 will provide the technical basis to provide premium content to Tele Columbus customers.

* Deutsche Telekom AG plans to invest in original scripted content in the coming years, according to the company's managing director, Niek Jan van Damme, DWDL reports. He told an audience at the international trade fair ANGA COM in Cologne that the investment would make sense and was part of the telco's strategy.

* German TV broadcaster N24 plans to sue German political party AfD over using its logo in an advert for an upcoming speech by former news anchor Hans Hermann Gockel. News site Tag24 reports that German broadcaster Sat.1 (DE)'s logo had also been used.

FRANCE

* Orange SA's Orange Business Services signed an agreement with German tech company Heraeus Group to modernize the Heraeus Global Network and centralize services in 110 locations worldwide.

* Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. and FranceTV Publicité designed Gear VR, a headset that works with Roland-Garros VR, a virtual reality app developed by the Tennis Federation and Livelike for the French Open.

* French telecom regulator ARCEP released a report on the state of the internet in France. It identifies threats that could affect the functioning and neutrality of the internet, as well as how these issues could be addressed.

* Yannick Letranchant has been appointed executive director in charge of news for France Télévisions SA, effective June 1.

* Lagardère SCA's publishing unit Hachette Livre named Fabrice Bakhouche director of strategy, effective July 1.

NETHERLANDS, BELGIUM AND LUXEMBOURG

* Tele2 Netherlands' mobile subscriptions are violating European regulations on net neutrality, Nu.nl reports, quoting statements by several legal experts. Tele2 states that using the phone as a WiFi hotspot to connect other devices, or "tethering," is prohibited, but according to the law on net neutrality this must be allowed, according to the report.

* Proximus, Liberty Global plc unit Telenet and Orange Belgium SA, together with four Belgian banks, launched Itsme, a new national mobile ID technology that offers simplified and secure online login, Knack reports. Itsme is designed as an open platform, and will reportedly soon be available when logging onto government websites.

* Customers of KPN NV, Telfort BV, Simyo and Yes Telecom Co. Ltd. can no longer access the app that allows check in at Dutch public transportation, Tweakers reports. The app, which was launched last week, reportedly has technical issues in the registration procedure.

NORDIC COUNTRIES

* Swedish investment company Cevian Capital acquired over 5% of shares in Ericsson AB, Reuters reports. Cevian said it sees great potential in Ericsson, and that it will seek to get a place on Ericsson's nomination committee.

* Ericsson appointed Erik Ekudden as chief technology officer and head of technology and architecture. Ekudden is to lead the group's technology strategy, with a focus on developing network solutions for Ericsson's service provider customers, the company said.

* Norwegian telecom regulator Nkom warned Telenor ASA that it slash wholesale prices for companies renting access to its mobile network. Telenor is required to open its mobile network for other providers of mobile services, in order to facilitate equal conditions of competition.

* Telia Co. AB unit Telia Norway said it is conducting a major reorganization of its business in the Norwegian private market. The whole Chess brand business will be moved to the cities of Oslo and Trondheim, and about 60 employees will get the option to relocate or leave the company.

SOUTHERN EUROPE

* Amazon.com Inc. is eyeing Italian telecom infrastructure provider Retelit SpA's data center to expand its Amazon Web Services, Telecompaper reports, citing Corriere delle Comunicazioni. It is not certain whether Amazon is looking into an acquisition or a potential partnership.

* Netflix Inc. offered details about its first original series produced in Turkey, which is expected to launch globally in 2018. O3 Medya will produce the yet-to-be-named 10-episode action drama series, telling the story of a young man who discovers he has special powers and uses them to defend Istanbul from dark forces.

* CJ E&M will establish a Turkish unit for the production of local content, Variety reports. The South Korean entertainment conglomerate will begin by creating co-productions, including a collaboration with Turkey's BKM for an adaptation of CJ's romantic drama "The Wedding Invitation" and a Turkish-language remake of a 2014 South Korean hit called "Miss Granny."

* Vodafone Italia is planning to launch a low-cost mobile virtual network operator brand during the latter part of 2017, Telecompaper reports, citing Milano Finanza. The MVNO brand is expected to provide mobile number portability services by September.

* Vodafone España SAU will launch two new mobile channels, Vodafone TV Online Coches and Motos, through Vodafone TV's online service, Rapid TV News reports. As part of the new offering that will begin June 6, Red M and Red L mobile subscribers will have access to Formula One and Moto GP live programming.

EASTERN EUROPE

* Rostelecom PJSC is considering to acquire telecom holding company Avantel, Telecompaper reports, citing Vedomosti. Sources said that the deal value remains undisclosed but could possibly total to about 2 billion Russian rubles to 2.5 billion rubles.

* Warburg Pincus will sell its shares in Polish cable network Inea SA, Telecompaper reports, citing Telko.in. The private equity firm is now looking for buyers and has begun sending out memoranda in preparation for an agreement with a buyer.

* Yandex LLC announced that it launched a platform for publishers to distribute content through mobile devices. Media companies will be able to publish their content on the Internet company's Yandex Zen, its artificial intelligence-powered content feed.

FEATURED NEWS

Cannes 2017: Record attendance despite controversy, security concerns: S&P Global Market Intelligence provides a three-part roundup of key industry news from the annual Cannes Film Festival, which took place May 17 to May 28 in Cannes, France. Today, part 1: Europe.

FEATURED RESEARCH

Global Multichannel: Testing times for Sony post-M&A trail in Europe: Sony Pictures Television has spent the last five years expanding its distribution across Europe with six major acquisitions.

Amanda Kelly, Anne Freier, Koen Pijnappels and Esben Svendsen contributed to this report. The Daily Dose has an editorial deadline of 7 a.m. London time. Some external links may require a subscription.