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Russia warns Facebook ban; Google to form new unit amid EU pressure

TMT News & Research: 2020 Recap


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Russia warns Facebook ban; Google to form new unit amid EU pressure


* Russian media and telecommunications regulator Roskomnadzor has threatened to shut down Facebook Inc. next year if the social media company does not comply with the country's user data laws, Bloomberg News reports. The head of the regulator, Alexander Zharov, reportedly said that a 2014 law, which requires companies to store Russian users' data on Russian servers, is mandatory for all companies.

* Google Inc. will create a separate shopping service unit in a bid to satisfy the European Union's antitrust concerns regarding the Alphabet Inc. unit's comparison shopping service, Bloomberg News reports, citing three people with knowledge of the matter. The unit will be required to bid, along with its competitors, for the ads users see on top of the company's search page.


* The American Chamber of Commerce to the EU urged the European Commission and some EU member states to refrain from "unilateral action" to increase taxes on U.S. tech companies. The group said the proposals could negatively affect the EU's competitiveness and growth, as well as global efforts to address tax issues.


* Uber Technologies Inc. has tapped headhunter The Inzito Partnership as the ride-hailing company looks to hire an independent chairman for its U.K. operations, Sky News reports. The incoming executive is expected to restore relations with British authorities.

* Uber is also scheduled to face a British employment tribunal in response to an earlier ruling that the company should treat its employees as regular workers who receive minimum wage and paid holidays, Reuters reports, citing a court document. The company is set to defend that its drivers are self-employed and operates the same way as local taxi companies.

* The British Broadcasting Corp. announced plans to align the median pay for staff of units BBC World Service and BBC Monitoring with their counterparts within the company. According to U.K.'s The Guardian, the British broadcaster will spend about £4 million on pay hikes for the two units' staff.

* Siro, the joint venture between Vodafone Group Plc's Vodafone Ireland and state-owned Electricity Supply Board, has dropped out of the bidding process for Ireland's rural broadband plan, the Irish Independent reports. The venture's decision to pull out leaves only Eir and Enet to bid on the project.


* A Chinese investment group has withdrawn its investment plans in digital mapping service HERE Technologies launched by a consortium of German car makers BMW, Daimler and Audi, reports Handelsblatt. An original investment for a 10% stake in Here was cancelled due to failed approval from the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S.

* Swisscom AG launched several threat detection and response solutions for corporate clients, as the telco expanded its range of managed security services to address cyber threats. The product lineup includes security analytics as a service, security operation center as a service, computer security incident response team as a service and threat intelligence as a service.

* German online food ordering and delivery start-up Delivery Hero Group has reported a revenue growth of 66% or €246.5 million for the first half of 2017, up from €148.9 million in the first half of 2016.

* German broadcaster Westdeutscher Rundfunk has launched "WDR Doku," a documentary channel on YouTube that will stream five documentaries each week. The new channel launched Sept. 26, according to a press release.


* Orange SA's Orange Cyberdefense is launching Mobile Security Intense, a mobile communications security offer for companies and the public sector. Developed in partnership with the French developer Ercom, its managed services include voice, video, instant messaging, and file transfers.

* TF1 Group President Gilles Pélisson called for a radical shift in the public service funding model, which would include taxing turnover generated by online platforms such as Google, Apple Inc., Facebook and Inc. Pélisson said that he would prefer to model the French system "like the one of the BBC," reports CB News.


* KPN NV announced that it will launch KPN Things, an end-to-end IoT service for business customers. KPN Things will include IoT equipment, networks, data and consultancy services.

* Proximus has signed a new 10-year storage and distribution contract with Belgian logistics company H. Essers, according to a press release. Proximus and H. Essers partnered in 2011 to improve efficiency of the Proximus Distribution Center.

* RTL Group's Luxembourg unit has secured the television, radio and internet rights for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. In addition, RTL Luxembourg and the Luxembourg Olympic Committee signed an extension of their partnership agreement for the next four years.


* Norwegian telecom company Ice Group AS, which owns operator, has postponed its plans for listing on the Oslo stock exchange, Dagens Næringsliv reports. The company said it is evaluating optimal timing and structure of a future listing. Ice Group subsidiary ice group Scandinavia Holdings AS is also contemplating an issue of a 1.4 billion Norwegian kroner secured bond, to be used to finance continued growth.

* U.S. company Perforce Software Inc. has acquired Sweden-based Hansoft AB for an undisclosed sum, according to a press release. Hansoft provides project planning tools.

* Ericsson AB has successfully trialed continuous data encryption over the Atlantic Ocean, together with Telstra Corp. Ltd. and Ciena. The test was done while maintaining speeds of 100 Gbps over 21,940 kilometers across multiple cable systems.

* Danish telecom group TDC A/S subsidiary YouSee A/S is working with Vodafone to provide Wi-Fi in cars. It is already integrated in high-end Mercedes models, and YouSee expects 250,000 Danish cars to have Wi-Fi by 2020.


* Mediaset SpA CFO Marco Giordani said the Italian broadcaster has not received any offer from Vivendi SA over a potential joint venture with Telecom Italia SpA, Reuters reports. Giordani said Mediaset would need to first resolve its legal spat with Vivendi over a failed strategic partnership.

* Telecom Italia's international services unit Sparkle teamed up with software company Telarix Inc. to roll out a new SMS management platform for its internet of things-related services.

* Turkcell launched a new brand, Lifecell, as part of efforts to meet customers' communication needs such as making calls over the internet, Telecompaper reports. The Turkish operator also rolled out a smartphone dedicated to Lifecell subscribers.


* The world's first real estate asset purchase using the Ethereum cryptocurrency was made by TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington with the acquisition of a $60,000 apartment in Kiev from Ukrainian developer Mark Ginsburg. Arrington used a combination of smart contracts, Ethereum cryptocurrency and PRO (Propy) tokens, making it the first-ever cryptocurrency transaction in Ukraine and the first real asset transfer using blockchain technology, Propy said.

* Russian broadcaster SPB TV secured global rights to video-on-demand content produced by the China Daily website, the online arm of its namesake newspaper. To be produced in English, the content will be made available on SPB TV's over-the-top platform as well as on the Belt and Road app, China Daily reports.

* Vodafone Romania SA is planning to step up its focus on video services, Broadband TV News reports, citing Business Review. CEO Murielle Lorilloux said the operator may also roll out its own TV service that will offer on-demand content.

* Ukraine's National Council could ban Italy's World Fashion Channel for distributing inaccurate information on its site, Broadband TV News reports. The channel has reportedly been propagating information that the Crimea peninsula is part of Russia rather than Ukraine.


Tech Time: Baidu, Samsung step up autonomous driving investments: In this feature, S&P Global Market Intelligence presents a bi-weekly global roundup of the latest developments in technology.


Broadcast Investor: Retrans database update: 3 new deals, including 2 resolved signal disruptions: Three carriage agreements in September added 28 full-power TV stations in 21 markets overlapping an estimated 6.1 million subscribers to our database.

Anne Freier, Amanda Kelly, Koen 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.