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Ofcom on BBC iPlayer; CK Hutchison holding company; Google's transcription in EU


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Ofcom on BBC iPlayer; CK Hutchison holding company; Google's transcription in EU


* U.K. media and telecom regulator Ofcom has ultimately granted conditional approval to the British Broadcasting Corp.'s plans to expand its video-on-demand service iPlayer's catch-up window for shows. The proposed changes include extending the availability of shows on iPlayer to 12 months from 30 days, with children's content accessible for five years. The BBC also intends to add more box-sets of shows to iPlayer.

* CK Hutchison Holdings Ltd. said it formed a new holding company to consolidate its telecommunications operations in Europe, Hong Kong and Macau under one holding entity. Formed in July, CK Hutchison Group Telecom Holdings will repay approximately €10 billion in external debt of Hutchison's Italian subsidiary Wind Tre SpA and will set up a separate company to house its European tower assets.

* Google LLC has suspended transcriptions of voice recordings from Google Assistant in the European Union following a recent leak of over 1,000 private conversations to a Belgian news outlet, CNBC reports. The Alphabet Inc. unit said it is coordinating with the data protection regulator in Hamburg in relation to the incident.


* Inc. completed its $15.7 billion all-stock acquisition of data analytics company Tableau Software Inc. However, the two companies will remain operationally separate until the U.K. Competition and Markets Authority completes its recently launched review of the transaction, according to Salesforce.

* Private equity firm Confidus Investment Partners AB is acquiring an equity stake in EvoluteIQ Ltd., a privately held Intelligent Process Automation company, for an undisclosed sum. As part of the transaction, Confidus co-founder Peter Dahlgren will join the company's board, according to a news release.

* British Telecom's BT Sport has introduced ST Sport Ultimate, a new ultrahigh-definition channel that offers broadcasts of matches from Premier League, English home Champions League and Europa League. BT Sport Ultimate will be replacing BT Sport 4K UHD on BT TV and Virgin Media.

* Viacom Inc.'s Pluto TV is launching Channel 5 (UK)'s My5 Crime, My5 Documentaries and My5 GPs: Behind Closed Doors channels on its linear service, TBI Vision reports.

* Spanish football organization La Liga has withdrawn tender for license broadcasts in the U.K. and Ireland after failing to receive satisfactory bids, Advanced Television reports.


* German fiber-optic network operators inexio Informationstechnologie und Telekommunikation GmbH and Deutsche Glasfaser Holding GmbH are preparing a sale of their respective companies, Reuters reports, citing sources. Inexio is reportedly expected to launch a sale in the second half of 2019, while Deutsche Glasfaser could announce its own move by late 2019 or early 2020.

* Sky Ltd. unit Sky Deutschland GmbH is launching a limited-edition channel named Sky Cinema Dark Future HD, which will feature sci-fi films, Broadband TV News reports. The channel will be available on pay TV, on-demand and streaming platforms from Aug. 30 to Sept. 8.


* Satellite operator Eutelsat Communications SA is planning to relocate its Paris headquarters, Advanced Television reports, quoting CEO Rodolph Belmer. The company said its options include locations near its existing offices, with more details to be unveiled "in due course."

* France's electronic media regulator Conseil supérieur de l'audiovisuel has issued a decision on the request for settlement of the dispute between Free and BFM TV, RMC Découverte and Diversité TV. The CSA will not issue an injunction against the Iliad unit, noting there is no legislative provision requiring a distributor to distribute all the services offered to it.

* Netgem SA has reported revenues of about €13.1 million during the first half of 2019, down from €23 million during the same period last year. The company's EBITDA has also decreased to €200,000 from €2.1 million during the year-ago period.


* Scarlet, the low-cost brand of Belgian operator Proximus, will no longer offer prepaid services starting Nov. 30, Telecompaper reports, citing Datanews. The decision came amid a general decline of the country's prepaid market in the past two years.

* KPN NV could face a lawsuit from the works council of the operator's unit XS4ALL Internet BV if the telco does not exert more efforts to preserve the brand, Telecompaper reports.

* Netherlands-based 4K/Ultra HD channel Insight TV named Charlotte van Bochove as its global public relations manager, Broadband TV News reports. Van Bochove was previously communications manager at Vice Media LLC's Benelux unit.


* René Richard Obermann stepped down from Telenor ASA's board on Aug. 1, according to a news release. Obermann's decision to leave was due to his desire to focus on "other business obligations."

* Nokia Corp. said it will deliver AirFrame servers to virtualize data centers operated by TIM Celular SA by year-end 2021. The delivery includes second generation Intel Xeon Scalable processors.

* Digia Oyj has closed the take over of Accountor Enterprise Solutions Oy, said Digia. Shares in AES were acquired from Accountor Holding Oy.


* Italian news agency ANSA has signed an agreement to buy AFP's international news service in video, photo and text for distribution in daily newspapers and digital media markets. The multiyear deal begins Jan. 1, 2020, according to a news release.

* Altice Europe is "in the final stages" of talks with investors "from both sides of the Atlantic" for the sale of Altice Portugal's fiber-optic network, Telecompaper reports, citing Jornal de Negocios.

* Telecom Italia SpA has inked a new three-year 5G partnership with the Turin city council, which will see both parties jointly working to convert the city into a model of a 5G-based "digital city," Telecompaper reports.

* Vodafone Group PLC's Greek unit is closing the former mobile service network of Cyta Hellas Telecommunications SA on Sept. 30, with affected subscribers being able to terminate their service contract within two months from the announcement, Telecompaper reports.

* Italian wholesale broadband provider Enel Open Fiber SPA has rolled out its gigabit fiber-to-the-home service in Castel Giorgio, central Umbria, which is identified as a digital divide area, Telecompaper reports.

* Inc. unit Amazon Web Services Inc. is opening a point of presence in Portugal for Amazon CloudFront, a content delivery network platform for digital content, Telecompaper reports, citing Jornal de Negocios. The point of presence is expected to become operational within the year.

* Mediaset España Comunicación SA unveiled details of pricing tiers for its new Mitele Plus streaming service, Telecompaper reports. Of the four offers, the Mediaset SpA unit's platform will include access to soccer content in three, with the basic plan worth €2.50 per month or €25 per year.

* The Turkish government has granted sweeping powers to its broadcast regulator RTUK to supervise content released by online platforms, raising potential censorship concerns, Reuters reports. The new regulation requires all online content providers, including news outlets and streaming services such as Netflix Inc., to secure broadcast licenses from the RTUK.


* Former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has acquired an unknown stake in the country's main digital terrestrial TV operator Zeonbud LLC, replacing the Yanukovych family as shareholder, Broadband TV News reports, citing Telekritika.

* Several executives at Bulgarian National Television were ousted by its new director general, Emil Koshlukov, Broadband TV News reports, citing Capital. The list includes Ulyana Pramova, head of the information directorate and main producer of sport Vitosar Sariivanov.

* Ukrainian regional internet service provider Tenet has completed the acquisition of subscribers from industry peer ATV Plus, following a deal agreed in June, Telecompaper reports.

* Paulius Vertelka, the head of Lithuanian ICT industry group Infobalt Association, is stepping down in end-August to work for Google's public relations policy team in central and eastern Europe, Telecompaper reports, citing Ruta Satrovaite will become Infobalt's acting head following the resignation.

* Russia's communications ministry invited bids regarding a subsidy tender for the rollout of a fiber-optic backbone link that would connect the Chukotka region to the country's single federal telecom network, Telecompaper reports.


Cellnex names new chairman; Türk Telekom CEO steps down: Spanish towers operator Cellnex Telecom appointed Franco Bernabè as its nonexecutive chairman, while Boulos Doany stepped down as CEO and general manager of Turkish telecom company Türk Telekom.


KBOX Week 30: 'The Lion King' leading a summer rebound: "The Lion King" is doing its best to pull the summer season out of the hole it has been in and will get some help from Universal's "Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw" in week 31 to push the season back into the black.


Verizon's Q2 net income down 4%, revenues also down YOY: Total operating revenues in second quarter were $32.07 billion, down 0.4% from $32.20 billion in the second quarter of 2018.

Anne Freier, Amanda Kelly and Gerard O'Dwyer contributed to this report.

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