* Hackers linked with the Russian government stole classified information on cyberdefense from the U.S. National Security Agency through the intelligence agency's contractor who stored classified files on his personal computer, The Wall Street Journal reports, citing sources. The hackers identified the files through the Kaspersky Lab ZAO antivirus software installed on the NSA contractor's computer.
* Police raided Vivendi SA's headquarters and Natixis' bank offices in Paris as part of an investigation into alleged market abuse involving Vivendi's purchase of a stake in Italian TV group Mediaset SpA, Reuters reports. The raids follow a formal request sent by Milan prosecutors to French authorities. Vivendi said it acquired its interest in Mediaset in a legal and transparent manner and is awaiting the closure of the dispute.
* NBCUniversal Global Networks Deutschland Managing Director Katharina Behrends has been appointed to also head the NBCUniversal Media LLC unit's operations in central and eastern Europe and in Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands, Broadband TV News reports.
UK AND IRELAND
* British theme-park operator Merlin Entertainments Plc is eyeing a potential deal with SeaWorld Entertainment Inc., in a bid to expand its overseas presence, Bloomberg News reports, citing people with knowledge of the matter. Merlin Entertainments has approached SeaWorld to buy part of the U.S. theme-park giant. However, according to the sources, SeaWorld would prefer a complete sale.
* U.K.-headquartered Dialog Semiconductor Plc said it is acquiring U.S.-based Silego Technology Inc. for $276 million, plus up to $30.4 million of contingent consideration. The deal will allow Dialog to boost its internet of things capabilities.
* Sky plc shareholders have been urged to oppose the re-election of James Murdoch as chairman, since he is also the CEO of 21st Century Fox Inc., Advanced Television reports. Investors at Sky are concerned about Murdoch's independence given Fox's proposed takeover of Sky.
GERMANY, SWITZERLAND AND AUSTRIA
* Deutsche Telekom AG rolled out new Ultra HD set-top boxes for its Entertain TV service, Digital TV Europe reports. The new models are both Ultra HD TV-capable and will give users access to Netflix Inc.'s content.
* German media company FUNKE MEDIENGRUPPE GmbH & Co. KGaA restructured its board of directors. Petra Grotkamp, chairwoman of the company's supervisory board, has transferred her corporate shares to her three children. Julia Becker takes over as chairwoman from Jan. 1, 2018.
* Following news that Axel Springer SE was to restructure its paid offers into two pillars, including digital and print publishing, Meedia reports that the news has caused unrest among the workforce, in fear of job cuts.
* Vivendi now holds a 94.75% stake in French multinational advertising and public relations company Havas SA, following the simplified takeover bid from Sept. 21 to Oct. 4, Boursier reports.
* Iliad SA placed €650 million worth of seven-year bonds with an annual coupon of 1.5%. The company said the transaction was oversubscribed with more than €2 billion in investor requests.
* Orange SA signed a series of agreements with the French Football Federation and the French Rugby Federation. The operator signed a partnership with the French Football Federation for four years starting in May 2018, renewed the partnership with the Professional Football League and confirmed its commitment to e-sport with Orange e-Ligue 1, which is being extended for the next two seasons.
* French markets regulator Autorité des Marchés Financiers announced that SFR Group will be delisted from the Paris Stock Exchange on Oct. 9, Zonebourse reports. Parent company Altice NV now holds 98.78% of capital and 98.74% of voting rights in SFR Group.
NETHERLANDS, BELGIUM AND LUXEMBOURG
* Altice USA Inc. and Walt Disney Co. struck a multiyear comprehensive distribution agreement for the carriage of Disney networks across multiple platforms, according to a news release. Pursuant to the deal, Altice USA's Optimum video customers will continue to have access to WABC-TV, Disney Channel (US) and Disney Junior (US), among other channels.
* Belgian operator Telenet opened its innovation center in Brussels, where the provider and third parties can test new technologies. During the facility's opening, the telco also announced a new collaboration with research hub imec, whereby they will focus on internet of things.
* Several editors and managers of local journalism platform Dichtbij.nl, which was abolished this week, expressed their discontent about the termination to mother company Telegraaf Media Groep NV, Villamedia reports. The editors say the abolition was not discussed with them and that Dichtbij's archives should be maintained.
* Modern Times Group said that its U.S. subsidiary Kongregate Inc. acquired 100% of game production company Synapse Games for an undisclosed sum. The Chicago-based company employs 22 people and develops free-to-play strategy and collectible card games.
* Telenor Norway is planning to close down its service center in Harstad, northern Norway, NRK reports. A total of 86 employees are at risk of losing their jobs. The company's board will make a decision on Oct. 17.
* Telenor ASA and Cisco Systems Inc. is launching the new business entity WorkingGroupTwo together, according to a news release. The new business will offer mobile operators a cloud solutions platform which will make it simpler to launch new services across internet of things and other industry verticals.
* Ericsson AB said that it signed a four-year contract with operator Etisalat Misr to transform its core network and business support systems in Egypt. The project will help the operator to provide more flexible services, and pave the way for 5G and internet of things.
* Ericsson announced that it is opening an ASIC design center in Austin, Texas. The center will focus on microelectronics and accelerating the path to 5G commercialization.
* Nokia Corp. said its Nuage Networks venture made its first software-defined networking contract in China, with China Pacific Insurance Co. The private cloud SDN project will integrate dispersed IT systems in a unified private cloud platform.
* According to Mediaset CEO Paolo Vasile, telcos, such as Telefónica SA, Vodafone Group Plc's Vodafone España SAU and Orange España, are distorting the TV market causing an inflation of prices for soccer rights, Advanced Television reports. This premise is preventing TV companies to acquire soccer rights at a reasonable cost, the report said, quoting Vasile.
* Spanish satellite broadband provider Eurona Telecom will be moving its headquarters to Quantis Global's head office in Madrid, from its current office in Barcelona, Telecompaper reports.
* Vodafone Portugal has teamed up with Ericsson to conduct 5G tests, Telecompaper reports. The tests conducted on Vodafone's network resulted in speeds of up to 20 Gbps.
* Executives from Facebook Inc., Twitter Inc. and Alphabet Inc.'s Google Inc. have been requested to give testimonies before a House of Representatives panel on Nov. 1 in relation to Russia's alleged interference with the 2016 U.S. elections using social media platforms, Reuters reports. The tech giants are also anticipated to make statements before the Senate Intelligence Committee and the House Intelligence Committee.
* Rostelecom PJSC launched Eurosport Gold channel in its lineup, which will air all the matches of the U.S. and Canada's National Hockey League, Digital TV Europe reports. The operator has teamed up with Media Alliance, the Russian distributor of Discovery Communications Inc. and Eurosport, for the new channel's rollout.
* Polish direct-to-home platform nc+ has blocked about 1,500 illegal clips or streams of the UEFA Champions League games in the first eight months of 2017, Broadband TV News reports, citing Wirtualne Media.
* Vodafone Czech Republic as has implemented 100% coverage of Narrowband internet of things in the country, Telecompaper reports. The operator has deployed the technologies on about 4,000 of its LTE transmitters.
Hires and Fires: US Media & Comm management moves through Oct. 4: Verizon, Sony, EPIX: S&P Global Market Intelligence presents a weekly rundown of executive changes in the media and communications industries.
Wireless Investor: 4G penetration in Denmark crests 80%: Market saturation and 4G parity among operators impede service revenue growth.
Anne Freier, Sylvia Edwards Davis, Charlotte van Hek 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.