* British Telecom intends to overhaul its management pay structure following investors' dismay over the estimated £1 million compensation given to former CEO Gavin Patterson, during a time that the company's stocks fell to about 30%, according to Reuters. The company's remuneration committee eyes to have a "more structured process" and consider a wider range of performance factors and circumstances in assessing a pay out for an executive, London's The Daily Telegraph reports.
* Telia Co. AB's Norwegian unit Get AS has partnered with Nordisk Film to launch streaming service Nordisk Film+ in Norway. The service will be available on all of Get's platforms, and will offer a selection of Norwegian and Nordic films, as well as international blockbusters.
* The European Union's General Court has rejected a request from Yelp Inc. and nonprofit organization Consumer Watchdog to join in the proceedings in relation to Google LLC's legal challenge over a €2.42 billion antitrust fine, Reuters reports. The court has supported the Alphabet Inc. unit's argument that Yelp operates a different business than Google and "cannot be directly affected by the ruling."
* The European Commission announced that it has approved a joint research project by France, Germany, Italy and the U.K. in microelectronics. The four EU member states will produce up to to €1.75 billion in funding in the coming years. The project, which is anticipated to be completed by 2024, may also potentially receive an additional €6 billion in private investment.
UK AND IRELAND
* Dentsu Inc.'s U.K.-based subsidiary Dentsu Aegis Network Ltd. acquired full-service digital marketing company Digital Evolution Group LLC for an undisclosed sum. DEG will join Dentsu's Isobar to create a new agency called "DEG, Linked by Isobar."
* Ofcom announced that it is looking into launching an auction for the 700 MHz and 3.6-3.8 GHz spectrum bands during late 2019 or early 2020 to help boost mobile and internet coverage in rural areas. The British regulator will require the winning bidders to expand U.K.'s data coverage to at least 90% within four years, provide new coverage to at least 140,000 homes and offices, as well as coverage in rural areas from at least 500 new mobile mast stations.
* CityFibre Infrastructure Holdings PLC said it has garnered a debt package totaling to about £1.12 billion from major financial institutions, which will be used to partially fund its £2.5 billion investment on the roll out of full fibre to about five million homes. Lenders for this transaction include ABN Amro Group NV, Deutsche Bank AG, Lloyds Bank PLC, Natixis, NatWest Group, Santander Bank Polska SA and Société Générale.
* Moonbug Entertainment Ltd., a London-based digital media and entertainment company that creates content for children, has raised $145 million in series A funding. Moonbug said the capital will be used to acquire additional media properties focused on helping children build "essential" life skills.
* Graphcore Ltd., a U.K.-based artificial intelligence chipmaker, raised $200 million in a series D funding round from existing and investors, including Microsoft Corp. and the investment arm of Bayerische Motoren Werke AG. Graphcore said the round values the company at $1.7 billion and brings the total capital raised to date to more than $300 million.
GERMANY, SWITZERLAND AND AUSTRIA
* Apple Inc. has agreed to provide a technical solution that would prevent mobile payment service Apple Pay from disrupting rival Swiss payment app TWINT AG, the Swiss Competition Commission, or WEKO, said. The fix will allow TWINT to suppress the automatic launch of Apple Pay at point-of-sale terminals during payment transactions made using the TWINT app. Following the agreement, the commission has decided to end its initial probe against Apple on the matter.
* Rüdiger Böss will step down as executive vice president of content acquisitions and sales at ProSiebenSat.1 Media SE by year-end. Chief Commercial Officer Entertainment Henrik Pabst will take charge of Böss' responsibilities, in addition to his current roles, by January 2019.
* Deutsche Telekom AG has expanded its licensing contract with Deutsche Eishockey Liga to allow the live broadcast of the German ice hockey league's games, according to German media magazine DWDL.
* Altice Europe and New York-based private equity firm KKR & Co. formed an independent telecommunications tower company in France, according to a news release. Hivory's formation follows the completion of KKR's acquisition of a 49.99% stake in a portfolio of more than 10,000 of Altice's French towers.
* Orange SA said in a tweet that its subscribers will be able to test 5G in Marseille, Nantes, Lille and Paris, beginning 2019.
* Solocal Group SA confirmed 2018 guidance for a return to growth with a stable recurring EBITDA at €170 million, after nine consecutive years of decline. The company also reported around €60 million estimated savings in cost base for 2018 compared to 2017.
NETHERLANDS, BELGIUM AND LUXEMBOURG
* Dutch operator Delta has expanded its coverage to about 10,000 customers outside Zeeland, Telecompaper reports. The company has begun its first broadband subscription service in Utrecht area Langbroek.
* The Belgian Institute for Postal services and Telecommunications is removing regulation on Proximus' carrier select and pre-select services, which are segments of the fixed telephony market, due to the limited usage of these services, Telecompaper reports.
* TDC A/S content provider subsidiary YouSee A/S has confirmed that it is in talks with streaming service Strive, which holds the rights to Spanish and Italian football leagues La Liga and Serie A in Scandinavia, Mediawatch reports. Strive has been strongly criticized for the quality of its match streams, and recently said that it is looking to cooperate with a TV company.
* The prosecution has called for prison sentences of up to seven years for former Telia CEO Lars Nyberg and his co-defendants in the corruption case against them, Affärsvärlden reports. The executives stand accused of paying bribes in connection with Telia entering the mobile market in Uzbekistan.
* Owners of Swedish media house Mittmedia AB have been looking for a likely buyer this fall in order to avoid bankruptcy, Resume reports. The company has received a collective offer from media companies Polaris Media ASA, VK and NWT, and a separate offer from media group Bonnier AB.
* Spanish regional operator Euskaltel SA is expanding nationwide with the launch of a new telecom and TV brand named RACCtel+, in partnership with the Reial Automòbil Club de Catalunya, an automotive club, Digital TV Europe reports. The RACCtel+ offering, which initially includes broadband, digital TV and telephony services, will be available to RACC members in Spain's Catalonia region.
* Telecom Italia SpA's board of directors will meet Dec. 21 to discuss Vivendi SA's request for a shareholders' meeting to designate new auditors and replace five board members, Reuters reports, citing sources. The board is set to vote Jan. 14, 2019, on the French media group's request.
* Telecom Italia struck a partnership with LG Electronics Inc. on 5G research and development in Italy, which will focus on 5G-related services and devices, Telecompaper reports.
* The European Commission cleared the proposed acquisition of southeast European satellite pay TV provider United Group BV by private equity firm BC Partners. In a statement, the commission said the deal would not raise antitrust concerns since United Group is one of the many players in the market and that satellite operator Intelsat SA, which is controlled by BC Partners, does not have market power in the wholesale satellite services sector.
* Ukrainian cable operator Volia rolled out Volia Football+, a new subscription video-on-demand platform that offers access to live and recorded games from the UEFA Champions League and the UEFA Europa League on a 24/7 basis, Broadband TV News reports.
* INEA SA is launching a gigabit fiber broadband service on Jan. 11, 2019, Broadband TV News reports, citing a company statement. The rollout of the new service follows the launch of a 10-Gbps broadband offer earlier this year.
Severance decision on Moonves may lift Ianniello's position at CBS, analysts say: Media analysts believe the board's investigation into former CEO Les Moonves' alleged sexual misconduct, which concluded that harassment and retaliation were not widespread practices at the programmer, could keep current leadership in-house.
Wireless Investor: Q3 carrier metrics: Verizon prepaid sinks due to new mobile virtual network ops: Despite new mobile virtual network operator competition from multichannel operators Comcast and Charter, total subs at the big five mobile operators grew 5.1% annually last quarter.
Micron shares fall as quarterly revenue misses estimates: Net income attributable to the U.S. chipmaker stood at $3.29 billion, or $2.81 per share, in the first fiscal quarter.
Anne Freier, Sylvia Edwards Davis and Esben Svendsen contributed to this report.
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