* A private equity consortium completed the $3.4 billion acquisition of British satellite operator Inmarsat PLC. The transaction's closing came after a court approved the scheme of arrangement for the takeover, which took effect Dec. 4.
* The Netherlands expects to raise at least €900 million from its first round of spectrum auction for 5G networks, Reuters reports, citing Dutch Secretary of State for Economic Affairs Mona Keijzer. The first auction of the 700 MHz, 1400 MHz and 2100 Mhz airwave ranges is scheduled to take place by June 30, 2020.
* Telekom Deutschland GmbH and EWE AG offered concessions to German antitrust regulator Bundeskartellamt as part of their plan to jointly develop fiber-optic networks in certain regions in the country. The companies committed, among others, to commercially operate an upgrade of about 300,000 fiber-optic cable connections in the next four years.
* ITV PLC and the British Broadcasting Corp.'s BritBox subscription streaming service has reached profitability in North America, ITV's subscription video on demand Group Director Reemah Sakaan said in an interview. To help reach more subscribers in the United Kingdom, its domestic market, ITV is aggressively expanding the number of devices that support BritBox, Sakaan said.
* Netflix Inc. appointed Madeleine de Cock Buning as its public policy head and will become a lobbyist for the company's activities in Europe, Africa and the Middle East, effective January 2020, Telecompaper reports. De Cock previously was chair of the Dutch Media Commission.
* Sports streaming service DAZN secured rights to broadcast Spain's Copa del Rey soccer games in Spain, Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Japan, Advanced Television reports. The streaming deal is valid for three years, beginning on the 2019/20 season.
* Digital currencies or "stablecoins" will not be allowed across the European Union until all legal, regulatory and oversight challenges and risks have been properly addressed, the European Council and the European Commission said. The statement came amid regulatory criticism of Facebook Inc.'s Libra, Reuters reports.
UK AND IRELAND
* Three Ireland (Hutchison) Ltd. is set to select Ericsson over China's Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. as its 5G network partner, Dublin's Irish Independent reports. The reported move came amid security concerns raised by the U.S. over the use of Huawei equipment.
* Bain Capital Private Equity LP completed the purchase of a 60% stake in The Kantar Group Ltd. from WPP PLC. After final completion with respect to the remaining Kantar business in the first half of 2020, total aggregate net proceeds are expected to be about $3.1 billion.
* Sky Ltd. unit Sky Studios will provide funding and distribution support to future seasons of hit drama series "Das Boot." Sky Deutschland GmbH and Bavaria Fiction coproduced the original series, which will return to screens in 2020.
* Guardian Media Group PLC's venture capital arm GMG Ventures LLP participated in an £8 million funding round for London-based artificial intelligence startup Faculty, The Daily Telegraph reports.
* The BBC unveiled new measures to boost the representation of black, Asian and minority ethnic, or BAME, people within the broadcaster's senior levels. The public broadcaster will require all of its leadership groups to appoint two new advisers, with at least one of them having a "deep understanding" of BAME issues.
* Ofcom imposed a £35,000 penalty on telecom provider Onestream Ltd. for "slamming," a practice that involves switching phone customers from one company to another without their consent. The British telecom regulator also ordered Onestream to either provide refunds or release affected subscribers from their contracts.
* Adam Jacobs is stepping down as an executive producer at U.K. independent producer Woodcut Media, TBI Vision reports. Jacobs also was an executive at Discovery Inc. unit Discovery Networks International.
GERMANY, SWITZERLAND AND AUSTRIA
* Canada-based TELUS International (Cda) Inc. plans to acquire Germany-headquartered Competence Call Center GmbH from Ardian for about €915 million. The deal is expected to close in the early part of the first quarter of 2020, subject to customary closing conditions.
* Oakley Capital Investments Ltd. is putting Swiss web hosting company WebPros up for sale, Reuters reports, citing sources. The private equity firm is reportedly working with investment bank Arma Partners LLP to tap potential buyers for WebPros in a deal that could be worth up to $1.5 billion.
* Deutsche Telekom AG halted all deals to buy 5G equipment in light of the "unclear political situation" over whether Germany will ban Huawei, Reuters reports, citing a statement. Lawmakers within Germany's ruling coalition government are divided over whether to impose the ban.
* German media company Pantaflix AG struck a content deal with Sony Corp. unit Sony Pictures Entertainment Deutschland GmbH for its streaming platform.
* Data protection commissioners in Germany consider data protection specifications for software manufacturers to be insufficient, Handelsblatt reports. Existing regulations contradict the product liability law, under which manufacturers are liable for the damage caused.
* Panasonic Avionics Corp. signed a multiyear agreement with Eutelsat Communications SA for Ku-band capacity on two multi-beam payloads on the EUTELSAT 10B satellite, which will launch in 2022. The deal will allow Panasonic to offer high-speed inflight connectivity services to airlines.
* Crunchyroll Inc. completed the acquisition of a majority stake in VIZ Media Europe, CB News reports. Following the deal, John Easum was named head of Crunchyroll's EMEA business.
* Plex is launching a free streaming service that can be accessed via Freebox Mini 4K, Univers Freebox reports.
NETHERLANDS, BELGIUM AND LUXEMBOURG
* Talpa Network, the Dutch media company owned by John de Mol, acquired TVGids TV BV and its TVGids.tv and Gids.tv brands. The online platforms offer film, series and program information via apps and websites from all TV channels in the Netherlands.
* Belgian commercial broadcaster VTM, which is owned by DPG Media, announced the final form of its redundancy plan, saying it will be laying off 87 employees, De Tijd reports. VTM announced plans for a dismissal round two months ago.
* Ericsson's provision to cover potential future fines by the U.S. authorities stands at $1.2 billion, the Swedish company said. The U.S. probe, which began in 2013, examined the financial terms of deals linked to contracts won by Ericsson in Asia and the Middle East.
* Nokia Corp. is entering the TV market through a partnership with Walmart Inc.-owned Flipkart India Pvt. Ltd., TechRadar reports. Flipkart launched a Nokia-branded Smart TV worth 41,999 Indian rupees, which will go on sale Dec. 10.
* Telenor ASA-owned Telenor Microfinance Bank Ltd. is embroiled in a fraud investigation in Pakistan, e24.no reports. The bank is being investigated by the local police after large amounts of money were found to have gone missing from customer loan accounts.
* Sanoma Oyj acquired majority ownership of cloud-based learning solutions company itslearning AS. The shares were acquired from Nordic private equity firm EQT AB.
* BlackRock Inc. acquired about 900,000 shares, or a 5.21% stake, in MásMóvil Ibercom SA, making the U.S. investment fund one of the majority shareholders in the Spanish operator, Advanced Television reports. BlackRock also acquired a 5.3% in Telefónica SA's Movistar.
* Wind Hellas Telecommunications SA is seeking offers from potential buyers by Dec. 11, but the sale process may face slight delays, Telecompaper reports, citing sources mentioned by Ekathimerini. At least four investment funds, including BC Partners and Warburg Pincus & Co., expressed their interest to acquire the Greek operator.
* Telecom Italia SpA CEO Luigi Gubitosi criticized Enel Open Fiber SpA for delays in rolling out its fiber network in Italy, Reuters reports. The Enel SpA unit, which is in discussions for a potential merger of fiber assets with TIM, responded by saying the executive's comment is unfounded.
* Movistar acquired broadcasting rights to the upcoming Super Cup, to be held in Saudi Arabia, Reuters reports, citing the Real Federación Española de Fútbol. The Spanish company will air the respective matches for three years, beginning in 2020. Other operators, such as RTVE, Mediaset SpA, Atresmedia and Mediapro, did not join the bid this year due to rights concerns in the Gulf state.
* Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte denied U.S. President Donald Trump's statement that Italy will not allow Huawei's involvement in 5G network infrastructure development, Telecompaper reports. An earlier Reuters report quoted Trump as saying that Italy confirmed a plan not to use Huawei equipment.
* Deutsche Telekom board member Srini Gopalan met with Romanian government officials led by Prime Minister Ludovic Orban to present the company's sale plans for Telekom Romania Communications SA, Telecompaper reports, citing Ziarul Financiar.
* Russian operator ER-Telecom launched a project to upgrade its fiber-optic broadband network for a total investment of about 7.6 billion Russian rubles, Telecompaper reports, citing Comnews.ru. The company plans to make the 1 Gbps broadband available to about 60% of its network between 2020 and 2022.
* TV3 launched an over-the-top platform called Go3 in the Baltic countries, Broadband TV News reports. The platform offers more than 40 live TV channels, 1,000 movies and series, as well as 100 hours of live sports weekly.
* Magyar Telekom will increase its employees' salary by an average of 5% and layoff a maximum of 450 employees, Telecompaper reports.
* The Lithuanian Radio and Television Center, or Telecentras, began retransmitting IPTV over LTE in HD quality. The technology is based on HEVC video encoding algorithms.
Hires and Fires Europe: Nokia board chair to step down; MTS unit names permanent CEO: Risto Siilasmaa is stepping down as chair of Finnish technology company Nokia, while Mobile TeleSystems PJSC subsidiary MGTS appointed Vladislav Medvedev as its new CEO.
Economics of Advertising: With 2 DTC services, Disney shifts focus to monetizing the opportunity: Walt Disney Co.'s fiscal 2019 fourth-quarter earnings included media network segment revenue growth of 22% to $6.51 billion while segment operating income fell 3% to $1.78 billion.
Technology: Commercial AR/VR hardware climbs steadily in forecast: Annual shipments of headsets and smart glasses for commercial use are on track to hit 5.9 million in 2023 as companies slowly move from pilot programs and niche use cases to larger orders and wider acceptance.
Anne Freier, Amanda Kelly, Charlotte van Hek and Gerard O'Dwyer contributed to this report.
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