* Tele2 AB and Deutsche Telekom AG have finalized the merger of Tele2 Nederland BV and T-Mobile Netherlands BV. Tele2 AB has received a cash payment of €190 million. Post merger, parent companies Tele2 and Deutsche Telekom will own equity holdings of 25% and 75% in T-Mobile Netherlands, respectively. According to T-Mobile Netherlands, the roll-out of a national 5G network and a fiber optic network will be a focus in 2019.
* Nokia Corp. completed the sale of a majority shareholding in its IP video business to Volaris Group Inc. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
* Details on content quota rules for streaming services in Europe are anticipated to be confirmed by the end of 2019, TBI Vision reports, citing Variety. The European Commission is holding ongoing discussions with local authorities to reach a conclusion on the actual quota as well as the clarifying the metrics to be used. Streaming platforms, such as Netflix Inc. and Amazon.com Inc., are expected to comply within nine months after the rules have been finalized.
* The European Union is looking to intensify scrutiny on Chinese technology companies and the potential security risks associated with doing business with them, London's Financial Times reports. EU countries have been conducting 5G auctions, with Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. being one of the potential lead suppliers for the mobile technology, the report said. Diplomats in the bloc suggest EU to play a role in implementing security measures in supply chain transparency, as well as monitoring and inspections.
* Norwegian company Link Mobility Group ASA has acquired Bulgarian telco Allterco AD for about €7.9 million, Telecompaper reports. The move comes after the mobile messaging company's recent acquisitions in France, the U.K. and Hungary.
UK AND IRELAND
* For the first time, internet service provider B4B Networks has linked its new 1,000 Mbps fiber-to-the home broadband network to a residential apartment in Belfast, Telecompaper reports.
* Video games in the U.K. have a market value of £3.86 billion and represent about half of the entire entertainment sector's all-time high revenues in the country, London's The Daily Telegraph reports, citing figures from British trade body Entertainment Retailers Association.
* UKFast.Net Ltd. has received a minority investment of an undisclosed amount from Inflexion Private Equity Fund, according to Telecompaper. The new funding brings the U.K.-based hosting company's valuation to about £405 million.
GERMANY, SWITZERLAND AND AUSTRIA
* Mobile service providers 1&1 Drillisch AG and freenet AG have launched lawsuits against German regulator Bundesnetzagentur over its 5G frequency award rules, following the same action by the three largest German telecom groups, reports Handelsblatt.
* German TV channels ARD-alpha and Radio Bremen TV will be available via satellite in HD quality, beginning Jan. 7.
* The French competition authority L'Autorité de la Concurrence has approved without conditions Vivendi SA's acquisition of the publishing group Editis SA, Le Figaro reports. Vivendi had notified the regulator of its proposed acquisition in November 2018.
NETHERLANDS, BELGIUM AND LUXEMBOURG
* Dutch regional broadcaster WOS Media has appointed Bas Booister as the new editor-in-chief, succeeding Richard Vroom, reports Villemedia. WOS Media covers the regions of Westland, Midden-Delfland, Maassluis, and Hoek van Holland.
* The Flemish government will bundle all existing governmental websites under one main domain called Vlaanderen.be, as currently not all governmental websites are directly recognizable, according to Datanews. The new strategy will start on July 1 and must be completed by 2023, the Flemish Prime Minister Geert Bourgeois said.
* Zynga Inc. completed its acquisition of 80% of all issued and outstanding shares and other equity securities of Finland-based mobile game developer Small Giant Games Ltd. in a cash-and-stock deal. Zynga paid $363.5 million in cash and issued 63,794,746 shares of its class A common stock to certain sellers, according to an SEC filing.
* Telia Co. AB repurchased 2,030,000 of its own shares in late December 2018, as part of its 5 billion Swedish kronor share buyback program announced in April.
* Telefónica SA's pay-TV platform Movistar has added channels TNT and TCM, as well as the AXN Now on-demand service as of Jan. 1, Telecompaper writes. The platform has also begun offering more on-demand titles on its Cartoon channel.
* Media-Telecom, a joint venture between Rostelecom PJSC and National Media Group, has acquired rights to exclusively air Ultimate Fighting Championship tournaments in Russia, Telecompaper reports, citing Cnews.ru.
* Adam Andruszkiewicz has been appointed secretary of state in Poland's Ministry of Digitisation, according to Telecompaper. The appointment was made at the request of Digitization Minister Marek Zagorski. Andruszkiewicz's new role took effect Jan. 2.
Tele2 to sell stake in JV; Zynga to buy Finnish mobile game studio: Tele2 is exercising its option to sell stakes in its Kazakhstan joint venture, while Zynga agreed to buy Small Giant Games.
Global Multichannel: Argentina broadband: ISPs roll out fiber as cord-cutting, convergence loom: With new regulations allowing telcos to offer pay TV services and enabling the merger of Argentina's two largest broadband providers, fiber and video services have become key differentiators in this increasingly concentrated market.
Anne Freier, Sylvia Edwards Davis, Charlotte van Hek and Gerard O'Dwyer contributed to this report.
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