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Concerns over Facebook's Libra; Axel Springer deal; Vivendi, Tencent talks


* Privacy regulators around the world have called on Facebook Inc. and its partner companies to provide additional information on its proposed Libra cryptocurrency, citing concerns on how customers' personal data will be processed as part of the system. The group of watchdogs includes the European Data Protection Supervisor and the U.K. Information Commissioner's Office.

* KKR & Co. Inc. is close to completing its buyout of minorities in German media and technology company Axel Springer SE after exceeding the minimum offer acceptance threshold of 20%. Axel Springer shareholders who did not tender by the Aug. 2 deadline can still accept the offer during the mandatory additional acceptance period, which will run for 14 days and begin after the offer results are announced, the companies said.

* Vivendi SA has begun preliminary talks with Tencent Holdings Ltd. for the sale of a 10% stake in Universal Music Group. The preliminary equity valuation is €30 billion for 100% of Universal Music Group on a fully diluted basis. The Chinese company will also be given a one-year call option to acquire an additional 10% for the same price.

* Foxtel Cable Television Pty. Ltd. and British Broadcasting Corp. unit BBC Studios Ltd. have signed an agreement on the long-term extension of their partnership, which will give the Australian pay TV operator access to premium British drama, entertainment, documentaries, natural history, children's programming and news for its broadcast and on-demand platforms. As part of the agreement, BBC Studios will provide thousands of additional hours of on-demand content, which will be available to viewers via the New Foxtel Experience user interface.


* Rakuten Capital, the investment arm of Rakuten Inc., led a US$35 million funding round for Fever, a startup based in Madrid and London that uses algorithms to plan events, TechCrunch reports. Fever CEO Ignacio Bachiller said the company will use the funding's proceeds to expand into Chicago and Barcelona, followed by the Asian market in 2020.


* Private equity firm Apse Capital Ltd. acquired a majority stake in Ultima Business Solutions Ltd., a U.K.-based provider of business IT solutions and services, for an undisclosed sum. Following the transaction, Ultima founder Max McNeill became a minority shareholder in the company.

* British Telecom agreed to sell its fleet management operator unit BT Fleet Solutions to AURELIUS Equity Opportunities SE & Co. KGaA. The deal, terms of which were not disclosed, is expected to be completed in the second half of 2019.

* Australian investment company Macquarie Group Ltd. is investing up to £30 million in British rural broadband business Voneus Ltd. The investment's proceeds will be used to mainly support Voneus' rollout of high-speed broadband services in rural communities across the U.K.

* Virgin Media launched ultrafast broadband services in Hyde, Tameside, as part of the Liberty Global PLC unit's Project Lightning initiative. The new network covers more than 3,700 premises in Hyde.


* Elliott Advisors (UK) Ltd. has called for the sale of Scout24 AG's used car portal AutoScout24 and a bigger share buyback program, Reuters reports, citing an open letter to Scout24 CEO Tobias Hartmann.

* German media company Hubert Burda Media is taking over Munich-based online health portal GmbH from its parent entity, Holtzbrinck Publishing Holdings LP.


* Orange SA topped the list of French mobile operators with the most 4G sites, according to latest figures from French spectrum regulator ANFR. The telco has 19,683, up by 215 in July. In addition, ANFR said it authorized 65 new experimental 5G stations in France, bringing the total to 273.


* Telenet Group Holding NV disclosed that BlackRock Inc., together with a number of its subsidiaries, has acquired voting securities in the Belgian operator. The purchase caused BlackRock to exceed the 3% threshold.

* Dutch operator Kabelnoord is planning to implement fiber services in outlying areas of Leeuwarden, Telecompaper reports. At least 60% of residents must sign up for services on the fiber-to-the-home network from providers Kabelnoord, Solcon, Multifiber or WeServe.


* Nexon Co. Ltd. is increasing its stake in Embark Studios AB to 72.8% from 66.1%. The South Korea-based company, which trades publicly on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, also announced that it will have the option to fully purchase the remaining shares of the Swedish company through Nexon stock over a five-year period, according to the report.

* Ireland-based Accenture PLC acquired Northstream AB, a Stockholm-based consultancy to communications service providers and networking services vendors. Northstream's team will join Accenture's communications, media and technology operating group.

* Chinese mobile communications company OPPO has reached patent transfer agreements with Intel Corp. and Ericsson. OPPO's deal with Ericsson covers more than 500 patents in the U.S., Europe, India and China.

* Mats Granryd, Tomas Franzén and Berit Svendsen have been named potential candidates to succeed Johan Dennelind as Telia Co. AB's CEO, Svenska Dagbladet reports. Granryd is director general of mobile industry association GSMA, Franzén is CEO of Bonnier AB, and Svendsen is a senior executive with mobile payments provider Vipps AS. Dennelind plans to leave the company in 2020.

* Atea ASA unit Atea Danmark A/S has reached an IT-centered frame agreement with SKI, regarded as Denmark's largest public sector procurement organization. Atea will provide telephony, network and IT security services to SKI under the two-year deal.

* Telia has repurchased 2,645,399 of its own shares under its share buyback program worth 5 billion Swedish kronor. The buyback scheme will run until Feb. 28, 2020.


* Grupo Ezentis SA has acquired Liteyca Telecomunicaciones SL's fixed network operations and maintenance activities in six provinces across Spain for about €27.5 million, Telecompaper reports, citing a filing with Spanish securities market regulator Comisión Nacional del Mercado de Valores. The acquisition covers activities covered in contracts with Telefónica SA in Madrid, Leon, Avila, Salamanca, Zamora and Las Palmas.

* Orange Espagne SAU's Jazztel Telecom introduced an offering that will provide live streams of soccer matches from La Liga and La Liga SmartBank, Telecompaper reports. The service will have a monthly fee of €1 for the first five months, and will have a €15.95 monthly fee, beginning January 2020.

* Altice Portugal unit MEO has launched Walt Disney Co.-operated channel, which will be accessible to all of the operator's pay TV customers, Telecompaper reports, citing Sapo. The channel will be accessible to all TV customers at channel 49. Altice Europe owns Altice Portugal.


* Rostelecom PJSC said its unit Bashinformsvyaz PJSC agreed to fully acquire three companies that will allow it full control over internet and TV services provider Alliance Telecom Group. The transaction's terms were not disclosed.

* Russia's State Radio Frequency Commission has allocated spectrum in the 4.8-4.9 GHz and 27 GHz bands for ER-Telecom, which operates as, Telecompaper reports. The Russian operator will use the frequencies for 5G testing.

* Slovak Telekom will offer broadcasts of English Premier League matches to its Magio TV subscribers, Telecompaper reports. The matches will be available on the Premier Sport channel. O2 Slovakia sro and Orange Slovakia are also offering broadcasts of the said matches.

* Romania's National Authority for Consumer Protection has filed an appeal against the Bucharest Court of Appeal's block on the former's order for Vodafone Romania SA to discontinue a €1 subscription increase, Telecompaper reports, citing Vodafone Group PLC owns Vodafone Romania.

* Media Group Ukraine appointed Yulia Kostecka as the company's business director, Broadband TV News reports.


As 5G networks roll, carriers eye edge computing as new service: As wireless operators begin lighting up next-generation 5G networks, the combination of faster mobile broadband speeds coupled with massive modern data loads is expected to drive an emerging technology: edge computing.

M&A Replay: Vodafone completes Liberty Global assets purchase, closes New Zealand unit sale: Vodafone closed the acquisition of Liberty Global's cable assets in four European markets, as the telecom giant also completed the sale of its Vodafone New Zealand unit to an investor consortium.


Global Multichannel: European broadcasters pursue M&A to build global scale: Mediaset's merger hints toward further consolidation in European broadcasting.

Economics of Advertising: Western Europe ad market sees better-than-expected revenues in 2018: Western Europe net advertising revenues grew by 4.1% in 2018, higher than the previously estimated growth rate of 3.5%, to reach $112.34 billion.

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

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