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EU content portability rules take effect; NXP sells Chinese chip-design JV stake

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EU content portability rules take effect; NXP sells Chinese chip-design JV stake

TOP NEWS

* The European Commission has confirmed that the portability of online content services across EU member states will begin April 1, Advanced Television reports. This means EU citizens will be able to use and access platforms such as Netflix Inc., HBO Go and Amazon.com Inc.'s Amazon Prime wherever they are across the regional bloc.

* NXP Semiconductors NV sold its 40% stake in China-based chip-design joint venture Suzhou ASEN Semiconductors Co. Ltd. to its venture partner Advanced Semiconductor Engineering Inc. for $127 million, Reuters reports. The move would lower the semiconductor manufacturer's exposure to the Chinese market and reduce some competition concerns.

UK AND IRELAND

* British telecom regulator Ofcom published a new set of measures aimed at boosting investment in fiber broadband networks, as well as improve the quality of service provided by network infrastructure provider Openreach Ltd. Among others, Ofcom has decided not to regulate prices of Openreach services. The watchdog also directed British Telecom to make its telegraph poles and underground tunnels open to other broadband operators.

* The British Broadcasting Corp. released its first Diversity Code of Practice, in a bid to boost diversity in commissioning content across TV, radio, online and digital platforms.

GERMANY, SWITZERLAND AND AUSTRIA

* Freenet TV is now available via satellite in Germany, enabling households who do not live in DVB-T2 reception areas to access freenet AG's HDTV offerings for the first time, DTT operator Media Broadcast GmbH said. Freenet TV's satellite package provides access to the most popular private broadcasting stations in Germany in HD, including stations from the RTL Group, ProSiebenSat.1 and Eurosport 1.

* Digital marketplace operator Scout24 AG reported an 8.5% increase in its 2017 group revenues to about €480 million. Operating EBITDA was up 12.6% to approximately €253 million.

FRANCE

* Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. will set up its third global research and development hub for artificial intelligence in France and employ nearly 100 experts in Paris, Reuters reports, citing the French president's office. Japanese IT company Fujitsu Ltd. will also set up a European AI research center in France, expanding the team of 15 people hosted at France's engineering school Polytechnique near Paris.

* Thales Group launched its takeover bid for all Gemalto NV shares at a price of €51 per share, valuing the digital security specialist at €4.8 billion. The offer is open from March 28 to June 6.

* French media regulator Conseil Supérieur de l'Audiovisuel accepted two candidates for the position of president of France Medias Monde. The regulator said Michel Goldstein and Marie-Christine Saragosse are in the running.

* The English-language version of the France 24 news network has been made available in Kenya via free-to-air, Agence France-Presse reports. Director Marc Saikali said France 24 is now present in 25 countries in sub-Saharan Africa.

NETHERLANDS, BELGIUM AND LUXEMBOURG

* Belgacom SA d/b/a Proximus is buying Dutch security company ION-IP for an undisclosed sum. The deal is expected to help Proximus expand its security offering, allowing it to offer end-to-end security services across the Benelux, the company said.

* Talpa Holding NV, the media company owned by magnate John de Mol, acquired Dutch news agency Algemeen Nederlands Persbureau from V-Ventures, the investment arm of Vereniging Veronica, for an undisclosed amount. ANP CEO Martijn Bennis and Editor-in-Chief Marcel van Linge said the press agency's position is well-secured and no substantial changes will happen to the company. Veronica had been the owner of the ANP since 2010.

* Orange Belgium and Orange Polska SA announced that they signed an agreement with Salesforce.com Inc., a company providing customer relationship management solutions, and Vlocity Inc., an industry cloud company. Salesforce and Vlocity will help the Orange SA units achieve business agility faster and reduce time to market by leveraging cloud-based solutions across their digital and assisted channels.

* E-shelter GmbH & Co. KG, a data center provider in Europe, announced the development of its first data center in the Netherlands. The new facility, dubbed the Amsterdam 1 Data Center, will be built out in four phases of 4,000 square meters of IT space and will offer both wholesale and retail colocation services, along with hybrid IT enterprise solutions.

NORDIC COUNTRIES

* Telia Co. AB will use strategic acquisitions to grow its market share in Norway, Dagens Industri reports. Telia CEO Johan Dennelind regards all significant players in the Norwegian mobile, TV and broadband services market as a potential future target.

* China Mobile (Suzhou) Software Technical Co. will deploy Nokia Corp.'s Nuage Networks software-defined networking platform, Nokia said. The deal means the platform will be used for China Mobile Ltd.'s public and private enterprise cloud services offering.

* Ericsson identified three main challenges as part of developing a more focused business development strategy. CEO Börje Ekholm told the company's annual general meeting that these challenges include cutting per-gigabit costs, becoming fully digital and finding new revenue streams.

* Telia added narrowband internet of things technology to its entire network in Finland. The technology is able to connect large numbers of sensors directly to the mobile network.

* TDC A/S lost 144,000 customers to rivals in Denmark in 2017, Børsen reports. This rate of customer loss will concern future owners.

SOUTHERN EUROPE

* Vivendi SA may face an investigation by Italian stock exchange authority Consob, Boursier.com reports. The measure would be triggered by the resignation of the eight directors of Telecom Italia SpA appointed by Vivendi, prior to the May 4 shareholders' meeting.

* Activist investor Elliott Advisors sees no need for Telecom Italia shareholders to elect an entirely new board on May 4 if they will support the board candidates proposed by the former at an April 24 meeting, Reuters reports.

* The Spanish over-the-top platform to be launched jointly by public broadcaster RTVE, Atresmedia and Mediaset España will be opened up to other operators to enable the inclusion of all free-to-air DTT channels and their video-on-demand offerings, Advanced Television reports, citing an RTVE spokesperson's interview with Efe.

* Ingrid Stenmark, Telia's senior vice president and head of the CEO office for strategy and combined assurance, has been proposed to be elected as a member of Turkish operator Turkcell's board. Telia owns a stake in Turkcell.

EASTERN EUROPE

* A+E Networks struck distribution agreements for its H2 channel with Polish cable operator Vectra SA and Croatia's Hrvatski Telekom, Digital TV Europe reports.

* Serbia's Commission for the Protection of Competition launched an antitrust probe into United Group-owned direct-to-home and cable TV operator Serbia Broadband, Advanced Television reports. The regulator claimed that SBB did not present enough basis for an increase in its monthly subscription fee that took effect Jan. 1.

* Telewizja Polska SA is scrapping the director positions for its TVP1, TVP2 and TVP3 channels beginning in April, as part of a restructure at the Polish public broadcaster, Broadband TV News reports, citing Press.pl. Among other new appointments, Agnieszka Dejneko will head TVP's new programme office from April 3.

The Daily Dose will not appear March 30 as well as April 2 due to the Good Friday and Easter Monday holidays in the U.K. The next Dose will be sent out April 3. Please visit our website for the latest news and updates.

FEATURED NEWS

Netflix, YouTube race past BBC as it fails to retain younger audiences: The BBC admitted it is struggling to retain younger audiences as funding challenges and competition from on-demand services such as Netflix, Amazon and YouTube put pressure on the British public service broadcaster to reinvent its online offering.

FEATURED RESEARCH

Economics of Internet: Netflix content spend to rise 29% this year, hit $2B-plus on originals: In the battle to triumph as global video services leader, Netflix's strategy to have something for everyone has set the company on a path to become the biggest content spender.

Daniela Latini, Sylvia Edwards Davis, Charlotte van Hek and Gerard O'Dwyer contributed to this report. The Daily Dose has an editorial deadline of 7 a.m. London time. Some external links may require a subscription.

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