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Norway mulls Huawei ban; Orange Slovakia names new CEO


* Norway is considering measures to protect itself against potential security risks posed by Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd., Reuters reports. Justice Minister Tor Mikkel Wara said the Norwegian government will place special demands on the Chinese telecom equipment maker before allowing its equipment to be used in future 5G networks.

* Federico Colom will take the role of CEO at Orange Slovakia, effective May 1, Broadband TV News reports, citing sources. Colom will replace Pavol Lancaric, who will take the role of supervisory board chairman at Orange SA's Slovak unit.


* Cambridge Analytica LLC's sister company SCL Elections Ltd. will pay a £15,000 fine imposed by a British court for its failure to comply with an enforcement notice by the Information Commissioner's Office over a data request. In May 2018, the ICO ordered SCL Elections to answer a subject access request by U.S.-based academic David Carroll. The court also directed SCL Elections to pay £6,000 of costs and £170 as victim surcharge.

* Discovery Inc. is preparing a Jan. 16 launch for DMAX, a new free-to-air channel targeting young male audiences. DMAX will replace the Travel Channel, which is transferring to pay TV.

* Liberty Global PLC unit Virgin Media has rolled out fiber broadband in Cheslyn Hay and Great Wryley, England. The new network will cater to more than 8,000 residents and businesses in the villages.

* U.K. video software provider Synamedia named Julien Signes as senior vice president and general manager of its video processing unit. Signes is founder and CEO of Envivio, a U.S.-based video processing software company.


* The European Commission has approved the acquisition of German IT solutions provider Comparex AG by Swiss peer SoftwareONE AG, citing the companies' moderate combined market position that would result from the deal. SoftwareONE is controlled by investment firm KKR & Co.

* Deutsche Presse-Agentur's Swiss unit news aktuell AG has expanded its cooperation with public relations company pr suisse. The partnership mainly aims to teach clients and members the know-how and network of each organization.

* Former Apple Inc. executive Alexander Hitzinger is joining Volkswagen AG as a director in charge of technical development at the German carmaker's commercial vehicles division, Reuters reports, citing a statement. Hitzinger will also oversee Volkswagen's efforts to develop self-driving vehicles and mobility-as-a-service platforms.


* Vivendi SA unit Canal Plus SA will relaunch its subscription video-on-demand platform CanalPlay, possibly under a new name, Les Échos reports, citing sources. The monthly subscription of €10 will aim to compete with Netflix Inc. and mainly target a younger audience focused on series.

* The French Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation signed a contract for a €25 million supercomputer with Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co. Enterprise, Les Échos reports. The unit, which is able to process 14 petaflops, will be mainly applied to artificial intelligence.

* Agence France-Presse SA has appointed Phil Chetwynd as news director, Challenges reports. He is the first English-speaking journalist to hold this strategic position within the news agency.

* LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE has injected €83 million into the Le Parisien newspaper to offset its losses and allow it to invest, Les Échos reports. The newspaper's economic recovery "a central issue for the Les Échos-Le Parisien group," said group CEO Pierre Louette.


* Proximus could be letting go of 1,900 employees as part of a restructure, a matter discussed by the Belgian telecom provider with the country's government, Het Laatste Nieuws reports. In the meantime, the Belgian government, which is Proximus' main shareholder, has said it wants to avoid any layoffs without compensation.

* Media giant Discovery's new streaming service GOLFTV has started offering its services in the Netherlands, MediaMagazine reports. The streaming services offers two subscription tiers, namely called GOLF TV Pass and GOLF TV Pro Pass.

* Belgian hosting solutions provider Combell Group BV announced the acquisition of independent hosting company Nucleus BVBA for an undisclosed amount, Computable reports. It is not yet clear if Nucleus' 35 employees will be transferred to Combell.

* Dutch public broadcaster NPO has filed a lawsuit at the State Council for the continued broadcast of the Sterren NL channel in the digital ether, or DAB+, TotaalTV reports. In December, a Utrecht court ruled that broadcasting SterrenNL in the digital ether is in violation of the Media Act.


* Nordea Bank Abp will transfer 54 IT employees to IBM Nordic AB in the first quarter, reports. The move is linked to Nordea's outsourcing of its BM Z operations to International Business Machines Corp. The deal includes customer-based AI/cognitive solutions and services.


* Vodafone Group PLC unit Vodafone España SAU will reintroduce its one-year free access to its TV Total bundle to subscribers of selected Vodafone One packages, Telecompaper reports, citing Movilonia. The package, which normally costs from €12 to €24 per month, offers about 120 channels, including HBO España, AXN Now, Nickelodeon, Fox and Disney.

* Telecom Italia SpA began offering a €1.25 billion fixed-rate bond to institutional investors. The bond's yield is equal to 4.125% and will mature April 11, 2024. Proceeds will be used to optimize and refinance forthcoming debt maturities.

* Spanish TV association UTECA has marked a February deadline for the government to approve a new digital terrestrial TV plan, Advanced Television reports. DTT simulcasting using new frequencies is expected to begin in February, and will run until March 2020.


* Romania's Competition Council has imposed an antitrust fine of about €14 million against Orange Romania, Broadband TV News reports. The operator has reportedly obstructed Simplus Invest SRL's access to its mobile network, which prevented the latter from sending commercial messages.


Q&A: Kwesé iflix CEO: Localized strategy key to rivaling Netflix, Amazon in Africa: S&P Global Market Intelligence spoke with Mayur Patel, CEO of Kwesé iflix, about the group's original content roadmap and its growth strategy for the coming year.

Conference Chatter: CES 2019: Viacom CEO waves off CBS merger, says car is next content catalyst: Bob Bakish has overseen the repositioning of Viacom as a cross-platform content company, and he sees the next big catalyst for consumption as the driverless car.


Economics of Internet: OTT sports services target niches with an eye towards the future: There has been a proliferation of sports-focused over-the-top services in the U.S. in addition to sports programming by multichannel TV operators, online offerings from some leagues and programming deals with social media platforms.

Consumer Insights: How many SVOD services is enough?: Survey data shows that most online households use more than one online subscription video service.

Anne Freier, Sylvia Edwards Davis, Charlotte van Hek and Gerard O'Dwyer contributed to this report.

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