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Apple probe in Russia; Ericsson's 5G rollout; Mediaset España's OTT debut


* Apple Inc. is facing an antitrust probe from Russia's Federal Antimonopoly Service following a complaint from cybersecurity company Kaspersky Lab ZAO, Reuters reports. The regulator wants to find out why the iPhone maker's operating system declined a new version of Kaspersky Lab's parental control app Safe Kids, in favor of its own parental control app Screen Time.

* Ericsson and Tele2 Russia Telecom have rolled out Russia's first 5G zone in central Moscow via Tele2 Russia's commercial network. The outdoor 5G coverage is live in the Capital area, stretching from Red Square to Sadovoe Ring.

* Mediaset España Comunicación SA's Mitele Plus has officially launched in Spain, Advanced Television reports. The streaming platform provides two simultaneous streams, one in HD and another in SD. Mitele Plus will offer broadcasts of soccer matches from La Liga, UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League.


* Dell Technologies Inc. appointed Vangelis Lagousakos as channel senior director for the Middle East, Russia, Africa and Turkey, Telecompaper reports. Lagousakos will be in charge of improving relationships with channel partners.


* British consumers spent more than £100 million per week on digital entertainment services in the first half of 2019, according to latest figures from the Entertainment Retailers Association. Music sales grew 9.9% from year-ago figures, mainly due to an increase in subscriptions of music streaming providers such as Spotify Technology SA, Apple Music and Deezer SA.

* Canadian media company Entertainment One Ltd. appointed Matt Pritchard and Matt Walton to the London-based roles of executive vice president for unscripted television. Pritchard is currently managing director of production company Boomerang, while Walton was most recently head of entertainment and factual at ITV Studios Ltd.-owned producer 12 Yard.

* Smithsonian Networks has made content from the Smithsonian Channel (US) available for purchase and download for users of the Apple TV app in the U.K., Rapid TV News reports.

* U.K. broadcaster ITV PLC unveiled details of an upcoming documentary series entitled "Inside Prison: Britain Behind Bars." The series, to be produced by Chalkboard TV, will look into the situation of prisons across Britain.


* The European Commission granted regulatory clearance to the proposed acquisition of software and IT consulting firm Control.IT Unternehmensberatung GmbH by a consortium of German investors. The consortium includes PATRIZIA Acquisition Holding delta GmbH, KGAL GmbH & Co. KG and HIH Real Estate GmbH.

* Revenues of Swiss operator UPC Schweiz have decreased in the second quarter of 2019, ahead of the company's takeover. Between April and June, profits dropped 3.6% to CHF 316 million, marking smaller declines than in previous quarters, Reuters reports.

* German media group SevenOne Media GmbH has launched Addressable TV spots to combine ads with the big screen. Following a beta phase, the ad spots will be available across all channels and programs.

* Shareholders of Swiss internet provider Quickline AG have voted two new members to the governing board, namely Enrico Ardielli and Mathias Prüssing.


* Starting in 2019–2020, Canada will invest C$14.6 million over five years in TV5MONDE SA to support the creation of a new digital platform to broadcast audiovisual products in French. TV5MONDE Plus will promote the international reach of French-language Canadian productions, working closely with TV5 Québec Canada.

* French IT company Atos SE will work on HELIOS, a three-year research and innovation project funded by the European Commission, as part of the H2020 Program. Working with 15 other partners on the development of a social media network based on a blockchain network architecture, providing users full control of privacy, Atos will also be responsible for a 360° video and the development of technical activities.


* Telecom operator T-Mobile Netherlands BV expects to have a nationwide 5G network in 2020, RTL Z reports, citing CEO Soren Abildgaard. T-Mobile reportedly wants to activate the 5G network after the upcoming frequency auction, anticipated around year-end.

* KPN NV's regional internet service provider unit Solcon BV is no longer offering mobile subscriptions, Telecompaper reports. The Dutch telco announced earlier this year that it wanted to limit the number of its own brands, but it is reportedly not clear whether Solcon will be terminated permanently.

* T-Mobile is now directing new Tele2 Nederland BV customers to T-Mobile Home, TotaalTV reports. New Tele2 customers reportedly also get access to the Fox Sports channel, leading to discontent among a portion of customers not willing to pay for soccer content.


* The Finnish government has ruled that Telenor ASA's acquisition of DNA Oyj has no effect on the latter's network licenses, said DNA. Telenor bought a 54% stake in DNA from Finda Telecoms Oy and PHP Holding Oy in April. The European Commission approved the takeover in July.

* Shanghai SUNMI Technology Co. is incorporating NEXT Biometrics Group ASA's Aadhaar-certified sensor modules into point-of-sale terminals for sale in India. The NEXT solution will be used in SUNMI's Aadhaar Enabled Payment System applications.

* Nokia Corp. and Zain Saudi Arabia are partnering on a virtual reality-tourism linked 5G venture. The companies used a joint network to demonstrate 5G-enabled VR to support remote viewing of live Hajj events in Mashaer and Holy Mosque area in Makkah.

* Nokia will also bring a commercial 5G network to New Zealand under a deal with Vodafone New Zealand Ltd. Nokia will deliver and integrate a 5G network for the telecom operator for launch in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Queenstown by late 2019.


* Altice Portugal's pay TV operator unit MEO has launched an exclusive music service, Telecompaper reports. The platform, called Stingray Premium, will be integrated with on-demand events platform Qello. Altice Europe owns Altice Portugal.

* Portugal's National Communications Authority denied Altice Portugal's request for a simulcast period during the operator's switch into a new multi-frequency network, Advanced Television reports. The decision could affect its users accessing the network through digital terrestrial TV, according to CEO Alexandre Fonseca. The company suggested an alternative migration plan and is awaiting response from the Portuguese regulator.

* Telefónica SA revealed revenues of €12.14 billion for the second quarter of 2019, representing a 3.7% year-on-year increase. The reported revenues cover the operator's operations in Spain, Latin America, the U.K. and Germany. The Spain-headquartered company also said it entered into network-sharing agreements in Germany, Brazil and the U.K.

* OTE SA, doing business as Cosmote SA, reported revenues of €946.9 for the second quarter of 2019, up by 0.4% compared to €943.4 million during the same period last year. The Greek operator expects adjusted capex of about €650 million for the whole of 2019.


* Telekom Austria Group's Belarusian unit velcom ACS will rebrand as A1, beginning Aug. 12, Telecompaper reports. América Móvil SAB de CV owns Telekom Austria.

* Polish operator P4 Sp zoo, doing business as Play, is bringing down the cost of its HBO Go subscription to 20 Polish zlotys, from 25 zlotys, Telecompaper reports.

* Satellite operator OneWeb LLC withdrew its spectrum license application in Russia and intends to amend its application to meet the country's legal requirements, Telecompaper reports, citing Vedomosti.


Hires and Fires Europe: Telia CEO to step down; WarnerMedia names EMEA executive: Johan Dennelind is stepping down as president and CEO of Swedish operator Telia. WarnerMedia named Giorgio Stock president of entertainment networks, distribution and advertising sales for Europe, the Middle East and Africa and Asia-Pacific regions.

Data Dispatch: Sprint customer satisfaction drops as yearlong deal approval drags on: T-Mobile and Sprint have made the case to U.S. regulators that their pending wireless merger will benefit consumers, but customer satisfaction ratings at one of the companies have gone down since the deal was first announced.


Economics of Internet: See it in charts: US, international OTT, July 2019: View U.S. and international over-the-top video trends at a glance in PowerPoint format. Key charts summarize the status of subscription video, ad-supported video, video advertising and other top sector trends.

Economics of Internet: Profile: Pinterest: Pinterest has carved out a visual niche for itself in the world of social media, with more than 200 billion "Pins" created since the service launched in 2010.


Deutsche Telekom willing to engage with states opposing Sprint/T-Mobile deal: The German operator's CEO Timotheus Höttges said deal remedies "already" addressed some concerns, but Deutsche Telekom is willing to engage with those who filed a lawsuit against the merger between its U.S. unit T-Mobile US and Sprint.

Virgin Media's drop in video subs dents parent Liberty Global: The U.K. telco lost 27,000 subscribers in what its parent described as a seasonally weak quarter.

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

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