* Israel-based Tremor International Ltd. agreed to acquire News Corp.'s U.K.-based video advertising unit Unruly Group Ltd. The deal will see Tremor International issuing 8,525,323 shares or about 6.91% of its voting share capital to News Corp., with the latter agreeing not to sell any of the shares for 18 months. The shares are expected to begin trading on the AIM submarket of the London Stock Exchange on Jan. 10.
* Swiss telecoms group Sunrise Communications Group AG appointed Uwe Schiller as its new CFO. Schiller was previously senior vice president of finance and investor relations at Sunrise. The appointment follows CFO André Krause's appointment as the company's CEO.
* Amazon.com Inc.'s Fire TV now has more than 40 million active users across the globe. The online retailer also expanded the Fire TV Edition program to offer more features to developers, operators and device-makers across multiple categories, including automotive, smart TVs, soundbars and streaming media players, the company said. The Fire TV Edition for operators is now available in North America, Europe, India and Japan.
* In the wake of a regulatory penalty in 2019, Alphabet Inc.'s YouTube LLC is making good on its promise to change the way it handles content aimed at children. The online video service said in a blog post that all creators will be required to designate whether their content was made for kids in YouTube Studio. Additionally, data from anyone watching a video designated as made for kids will be treated as coming from a child, regardless of the age of the user.
* Lobbyists from technology companies such as Google LLC, Facebook Inc. and Twitter Inc., urged the European Union to not hold the companies liable for content on their platform, London's Financial Times reports. The lobbyists sent the plea to the European Commission in a letter at a time the latter is putting together rules for the technology sector.
UK AND IRELAND
* John Wiley & Sons Inc. acquired MThree Corporate Consulting Ltd., a provider of education services that address the IT skills gap, from ECI Partners LLP. Under terms of the agreement, MThree shareholders received about $129 million in cash at closing Jan. 1. MThree trains students and professionals for tech careers, according to an SEC filing.
* U.K.-headquartered Synamedia teamed up with Pearl TV to join the Phoenix Model Market Initiative, a strategy to move to an over-the-air television broadcasting. Under the partnership, Synamedia will provide encoding expertise and services and will build future ATSC 3.0 applications based on market needs.
* U.K.-based production and distribution company Parade Media Group Ltd. appointed Debbie Manners as a board member, Rapid TV News reports. Manners previously was an executive at KEO Films Ltd. and the British Broadcasting Corp. unit BBC Studios Ltd.
GERMANY, SWITZERLAND AND AUSTRIA
* Axel Springer SE appointed Florian von Heintze as deputy editor-in-chief of tabloid Bild, replacing Alexandra Würzbach who joined Bild am Sonntag.
* Twitter appointed Christof Schmid as the new head of communications for Germany, replacing Holger Kersting, reports Horizont. Schmid joins from Stage Entertainment Deutschland.
* Free deployed 14,825 4G sites over the past 12 months, Univers Freebox reports. Free's deployment is about the same number of 4G sites as rival operator Orange SA, nearly 3x more than Bouygues Telecom SA and 2.5x more than Altice France SA's SFR.
NETHERLANDS, BELGIUM AND LUXEMBOURG
* Luc van Os resigned as CEO of publisher Hearst Netherlands after 12 years in the position, reports Adformatie.
* Dutch operator EasyVoice is said to have ended its services as its website went offline. Customers were informed by email that services would be transferred to Spotstreaming.nl from Feb. 1, reports Telecompaper. EasyVoice launched in 2018, partnering with Voiceworks for access to the KPN NV network.
* Dutch film channel Film1 acquired the rights to 200 films under new agreements with film distributors New Regency and Dutch Filmworks BV, reports TotaalTV. Film1 is available as a premium service via most operators in the Netherlands.
* Norwegian Communications Authority said it will make changes to Telenor ASA's obligations in the Norwegian broadband market. Nkom said that Telenor's decision to replace its copper network with new technology by the end of 2022 would affect competition.
* Head of TV at Danish public broadcaster DR, Emma Kronqvist, is leaving the company over disagreements with the company's strategic choices, Finans reports. The broadcaster recently closed three of its six flow channels as part of a major savings round.
* Norwegian mobile virtual network operator Nortel said it entered a partnership with SMB Norge, the Norwegian association for small and medium-sized businesses. Nortel is offering the first subscription with free data in the corporate market.
* Vodafone España SAU and Orange Espagne SAU are still in talks with Telefónica SA to share their networks, with plans to scale back the deal to cover only small towns across Spain, Telecompaper reports, citing Expansión. The network sharing agreement is reportedly being hampered by technical complexities and the associated high costs.
* Italian energy company Enel Energia SpA teamed up with Melita PLC's Italian unit to offer high-speed internet services under the Enel in Fibra by Melita brand, Digital TV Europe reports. The fiber-to-the-home service offers 1 Gbps download speeds and upload speeds of up to 300 Mbps.
* Serbia will begin the rollout of a 5G network this year and has plans to hold a 5G spectrum auction, Telecompaper reports, citing a statement by Vladica Tintor, director of the country's Regulatory Agency for Electronic Communications and Postal Services, to RTS.
* Russian fixed operator Akado Telecom named Grigoriy Novitskiy its new CEO, replacing Sergey Nazaro, Telecompaper reports, citing Izvestia.
* IT company 4iG Nyrt. won a contract worth 2.38 billion Hungarian forints from Hungary's Government Information Technology Development Agency, Telecompaper reports. The contract involves the supply of active network devices and related services that will be used for the wired and wireless networks of educational institutions involved in the country's Student Network program.
* A selection of Media Group Ukraine's channels will be added to the Altru platform as part of a deal with the platform's founder Terra TV, Broadband TV News reports. Israeli operator HOT Telecommunication Systems Ltd. operates Altru.
* Polish pay TV operator Cyfrowy Polsat SA will pay a fine of 34.9 million Polish zlotys for removing German TV channels ZDF (DE) and Das Erste from its channel roster during the Euro 2016 soccer competition, Telecompaper reports. Antitrust regulator Urząd Ochrony Konkurencji i Konsumentów issued the penalty.
M&A Replay: Cellnex to buy tower company; Amazon buys Net Insight's Sye streaming business: Cellnex Telecom agreed to buy Portuguese tower operator OMTEL, while a consortium led by Chinese conglomerate Tencent will acquire a stake in Vivendi unit Universal Music Group.
The Best Of: Kagan research and analysis, editor's picks: Kagan presents the editor's top picks from its exclusive research and analysis for the weeks ended Dec. 27, 2019, and Jan. 3, 2020.
Anne Freier, Sylvia Edwards Davis, Charlotte van Hek and Esben Svendsen contributed to this report.
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