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Netflix to hike prices in UK; American Tower Corp. in $1.85B deal

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Netflix to hike prices in UK; American Tower Corp. in $1.85B deal

TOP NEWS

* Netflix Inc. is increasing prices for two of its subscription packages in the U.K., BBC News reports. A standard subscription now costs £8.99 per month, up from £7.99. The premium tariff, meanwhile, will increase to £11.99 monthly from £9.99. The basic subscription package will retain its monthly rate of £5.99.

* In other Netflix news, the company is in advanced talks with Polish public broadcaster Telewizja Polska SA over a potential collaboration, Broadband TV News reports, citing Wirtualne Media. The deal could see TVP's content added to Netflix, and may also include co-productions.

* U.S. President Donald Trump will threaten to limit intelligence-sharing efforts with the U.K. if it allows Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. to participate in the country's 5G network buildout, London's Financial Times reports. Trump is expected to deliver the message when he visits London next week. The government has yet to make a decision on the matter following the resignation of Prime Minister Theresa May, London's The Daily Telegraph reports.

* American Tower Corp. agreed to acquire Eaton Towers Holdings Ltd. for a total consideration of roughly $1.85 billion, including the assumption of existing debt. Eaton is a London-based owner and operator of approximately 5,500 communications sites serving the African market.

UK AND IRELAND

* Apple Inc., Google LLC, Microsoft Corp. and WhatsApp Inc. joined civil society groups, trade groups and security experts in urging British intelligence agency GCHQ to scrap its "ghost proposal" that would facilitate eavesdropping on encrypted messages. The tech companies said the idea "poses serious threats to cybersecurity and fundamental human rights, including privacy and free expression."

* Cellnex Telecom SA is eyeing an expansion of its business in the U.K. as it seeks more deals in the 2019-2020 period, Reuters reports, quoting CEO Tobias Martinez. The Spanish towers operator has already expressed interest in British peer Cornerstone Telecommunications Infrastructure Ltd.

* Microsoft is opening its flagship physical retail store in London on July 11. The store will offer a dedicated customer support area for Microsoft products and services, as well as a Community Theatre for workshops and programs.

* U.S.-based growth equity firm General Atlantic Service Co. LP is lining up an investor consortium to buy half of its stake in Argus Media Ltd., in a deal that could value the oil and other commodity pricing news provider at about £2 billion, Sky News reports, citing banking sources.

* British Telecom trialed a live TV production using 5G during the technology segment of the British Broadcasting Corp.'s "BBC Breakfast" program.

* ITV Studios Global Entertainment named Bharti Mittal as sales director for South Asia and Zoe Tsui as head of content sales for Greater China, TBI Vision reports. The appointments are part of the ITV PLC unit's expansion of its Asia-Pacific sales team.

GERMANY, SWITZERLAND AND AUSTRIA

* Deutsche Telekom AG has told employees to stop using mobile phones made by Huawei for business purposes, in light of U.S. sanctions against the Chinese handset maker, Handelsblatt reports.

* A German journalists' group claimed that a reform proposed by German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer could make it possible to digitally spy on journalists, Focus reports.

* Subscription-based sports streaming platform DAZN has decided against sublicensing Champions League rights to German public broadcaster ZDF (DE), Sportbuzzer reports, citing Deutsche Presse-Agentur.

FRANCE

* BeIN Media Group LLC has added the Sundance TV channel to its library of exclusive entertainment content. The channel will be accessible to subscribers of beIN's Entertainment, Complete and Elite packages.

* France's National Center for Cinema and the Animated Image, or CNC, has been accused of a lack of transparency and consultation as well as producing too many films, Les Echos reports. The report was produced by Céline Calvez, vice president of legislative committee Commission des affaires culturelles, and Marie-Ange Magne, a member of CNC's finance committee.

NETHERLANDS, BELGIUM AND LUXEMBOURG

* Dutch operator DELTA Fiber Nederland BV is installing new cable connections that would enable faster internet speeds to 3,400 homes in the Zeeland province, TotaalTV reports. The targeted addresses can currently only access internet via copper wires owned by operator KPN NV.

* Ziggo NV will temporarily expand is digital standard package with Baby TV, a channel owned by Fox Corp.'s FOX Benelux, TotaalTV reports. Ziggo's move follows a recent announcement by KPN that its customers will continue to be able to access Baby TV alongside other FOX channels in line with a new distribution deal.

* Dutch tax authority De Belastingdienst has reported a data breach to the Data Protection Authority, de Volkskrant reports. Due to an error with digital authorizations, accountants, among others, have been able to view the personal data and declarations of former clients since 2018.

NORDIC COUNTRIES

* U.S. private equity firm Insight Partners LP has agreed to acquire a controlling stake in threat intelligence company Recorded Future Inc. The deal values Recorded Future, which has developed a software for monitoring the dark web, at $780 million.

* The U.K. Competition and Markets Authority said its probe into Swedish eye tracking company Tobii AB and Smartbox Assistive Technology Ltd.'s merger has provisionally found that it could lead to a substantial lessening of competition in the supply of certain communication solutions. A final report will be released by July 25.

* Ericsson announced a partnership with wireless carrier Sprint Corp. to launch the latter's commercial mobile 5G services across U.S. four cities.

SOUTHERN EUROPE

* Sundance TV On Demand will be accessible on Altice Portugal SA's pay TV unit MEO for €2.99 per month, Digital TV Europe reports.

* U.K.-headquartered Friend MTS has extended its provision of security software for channels of United Media AS, which offers cable channels in Southeast Europe. Under the agreement, Friend MTS will provide automated content monitoring and enforcement services to United Media's sports channels.

* Monaco Telecom is launching 5G services in the summer in Monaco, with technological support from Huawei, Univers Freebox reports. Iliad SA founder Xavier Niel owns a 52% stake in the telco.

* Telefónica SA will use Nokia Corp.'s Deepfield Cloud Intelligence analytics solution to troubleshoot content and improve user experience. The software uses automated cloud and network analytics for real-time insights and actions on performance and quality.

EASTERN EUROPE

* Bolivian operator Entel is launching internet protocol TV services following the deployment of Amino Communications AB's AminoVU set-top boxes, which enables the roll out of such services, Advanced Television reports.

* Russian operator MegaFon has appointed Nikita Orlov as CFO, Broadband TV News reports. Orlov will also join MegaFon's board.

* Russia's Federal Antimonopoly Service has launched an investigation into Rostelecom PJSC's activities, after the company refused to provide connections to rival operators, Telecompaper reports, citing Tdaily.ru.

FEATURED NEWS

Hires and Fires Europe: VEON names Beeline Kyrgyzstan CEO; Telenor Montenegro gets new chief executive: Dutch operator VEON named Eugene Krazhan CEO of its Beeline Kyrgyzstan unit, while Branko Mitrovic is stepping in as the new chief executive of Telenor Montenegro.

FEATURED RESEARCH

Global Multichannel: Global Markets Update — Italy: Kagan has recently updated Global Multichannel and Broadband analyses for Italy, as well as analyses for related operators Fastweb, TIM, Mediaset and Sky Italia.

Economics of Internet: Netflix, Hulu lead Q1'19 viewing as OTT space expands: New year, new launches, subscribers and additional ways to bundle over-the-top: We analyze Comscore Video Metrix viewership data for first quarter 2019 to gauge the performance of some of the top players in the OTT space.

Anne Freier, Amanda Kelly, Charlotte van Hek and Esben Svendsen contributed to this report.

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