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In This List

Tencent investment in Europe; Iliad's asset sale; Nielsen CFO departure

Virgin Media-O2 Tie Up, EC Reversal on Three-O2 to Reboot Consolidation

COVID-19 Impacts Incumbent Telco Revenues In Western Europe

Disney+ Ditches Free Trials — Will Other Big Streamers Follow Suit?

COVID-19 Pandemic Likely To Cause US Telemedicine Boom


Tencent investment in Europe; Iliad's asset sale; Nielsen CFO departure

Editor's note: The Daily Dose Europe will not be published Dec. 25 and Dec. 26. The next iteration will be published Dec. 27.

TOP NEWS

* Tencent Holdings Ltd. is planning a US$10 billion investment in Europe in 2020, with one-third designated for Germany, Handelsblatt reported. The Chinese tech company is eyeing investments in autonomous driving startups, high-end manufacturers and industrial designers in the Western European country, which is considered one of Tencent's most important markets outside China.

* Iliad SA finalized its agreement to sell telecom towers in France and Italy to Spanish operator Cellnex Telecom SA for €2 billion.

* Nielsen Holdings PLC's CFO and COO, David Anderson, resigned from the global measurement and data analytics company, effective Dec. 31.

UK AND IRELAND

* NCR Corp. purchased U.K.-based Zynstra Ltd., a virtualization technology provider, for £100 million. The acquisition is expected to be slightly dilutive to earnings per share in 2020.

* BritBox, the streaming joint venture between the British Broadcasting Corp. and ITV PLC, is now available on Panasonic Corp.'s selected TV models as well as on a range of smart TVs using the Vestel platform, according to a news release. The streaming service also introduced a BritBox Chromecast app, allowing any TV with an HDMI port to access the service.

* British Telecom unit EE Ltd. is joining Transport for London's 4G underground trial aimed at giving passengers connectivity between Westminster and Canning Town, EE CEO Mark Allera announced in a tweet.

* Freeview Uk Ltd.'s video-on-demand platform, Freeview Play, has about 7 million users, with more than 9 million devices capable of receiving the service, the company said.

* BBC Sounds recorded about 3 million weekly users, an increase from about 1.3 million in June. The company also saw a 74% increase in plays of podcasts and on-demand radio programs between February and November.

GERMANY, SWITZERLAND AND AUSTRIA

* German federal network agency Bundesnetzagentur imposed a €250,000 fine against Sky Ltd. unit Sky Deutschland GmbH for use of unauthorized telephone advertising, Reuters reports.

* Deutsche Telekom AG-owned T-Mobile US Inc. considered a merger with Comcast Corp. back in 2015, reports Bloomberg News, citing internal documents.

* HG Capital announced the acquisition of German cloud-based HR software maker Personal & Informatik AG for an enterprise value of €2 billion. Hg acquired the holding from funds advised by Permira Holdings Ltd.

* Axel Springer SE suspended the publication of its art magazine Blau, which was first published in 2015, reports New Business. It will continue the international edition of the magazine.

* Vodafone Deutschland Gmbh said it plans to supply some mobile stations with renewable energy. The Vodafone Group PLC unit supplied LTE and 5G stations with electricity provided by four wind power turbines and launched a mobile communications mill in Torgelow.

FRANCE

* Free added cultural channels Histoire TV and Ushuaïa TV to its offering, Univers Freebox reports. The two channels are now available to Freebox Mini 4K, Crystal and One subscribers free of charge.

NETHERLANDS, BELGIUM AND LUXEMBOURG

* The works council of Dutch internet service provider XS4ALL Internet BV lost its court case against its merger with parent company KPN NV, NU.nl reports. The Enterprise Chamber at the Amsterdam court reportedly rejected the works council's request to start an investigation into possible mismanagement at KPN and name an interim director for XS4ALL, thereby allowing KPN to go ahead with its restructuring plan.

* Brussels Airport is developing a private 5G network in cooperation with Nokia Corp. and Belgian operator Citymesh NV, Datanews reports.

NORDIC COUNTRIES

* Swedish technology companies including Microsoft Corp.-owned Minecraft, King Digital Entertainment plc's Candy Crush Saga and Klarna Holding AB will raise a €100 million early-stage impact fund for companies offering solutions to global problems such as poverty, food waste and climate change, London's Financial Times reports. The fund has reached €61 million and is expected to reach its target amount by spring 2020.

* The national corruption unit of the Swedish police is investigating Ericsson, SvD reports. The company is suspected of systematic bribery of people outside of Sweden, and giving false information in its accounts. The news comes after Ericsson entered into a settlement with U.S. authorities following allegations of corruption and bribery.

* Telia Co. AB said it repurchased 2,815,398 shares in the company from Dec. 16 to Dec. 20. The buybacks are part of the company's repurchase program of 5 billion Swedish kronor, which runs until Feb. 28, 2020.

SOUTHERN EUROPE

* The board of directors of Mediaset SpA said its shareholder Vivendi SA made a "further attempt" to block the Italian company's plan to restructure MFE-Mediaforeurope. Vivendi's reasons for blocking the transaction are "unfounded and tainted by conflict of interest," Mediaset said.

* Swisscom AG-owned Fastweb SpA and Linkem SpA teamed up for the installation of their respective 5G fixed wireless access networks.

* Altice Europe unit MEO denied Portuguese regulator Autoridade da Concorrência's allegation that it formed a cartel with Nowo Communications SA in mobile communications, Telecompaper reports, citing Jornal de Noticias.

EASTERN EUROPE

* Russian operator Rostelecom PJSC received authorization to raise its stake in Votron and Open Mobile Platform LLC to 99.9%, Telecompaper reports, citing Vedomosti. Rostelecom currently owns 75% of the companies.

* T-Mobile Polska SA will invest in a second data center facility in Warsaw, spanning about 4,400 square meters, Telecompaper reports.

* Polish cable operator Inea SA agreed to provide wholesale access to fibre-optic networks to Liberty Global PLC unit UPC Poland, Telecompaper reports.

FEATURED NEWS

M&A Replay: Cineworld to acquire Canadian cinema operator; EC clears Nvidia/Mellanox deal: Movie theater operator Cineworld agreed to buy its Canadian peer Cineplex, while the European Commission approved U.S. chipmaker Nvidia's proposed acquisition of Mellanox Technologies.

5G Focus: 2020 outlook; Global launches; Regulatory decisions: As 2019 draws to a close, S&P Global Market Intelligence's news team and Kagan research analysts take a look at where the next-generation wireless technology stands today and how it is expected to impact the global landscape in 2020.

FEATURED RESEARCH

Global Multichannel: Westminster Media Forum: UK broadcast production and policy priorities: The future of UK broadcasting involves setting strategies for content production, market dynamics, and policy and regulatory priorities. Alongside threats, the public service broadcasting sector can also tap into new commercial opportunities.

Anne Freier, Sylvia Edwards Davis, Marieke Pijnappels and Esben Svendsen contributed to this report.

The Daily Dose has an editorial deadline of 7 a.m. London time. Some external links may require a subscription. Links are current as of publication time, and we are not responsible if those links are unavailable later.