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Twitter app breach; Google's fine in France; broadband access in UK


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Twitter app breach; Google's fine in France; broadband access in UK


* Twitter Inc. said a malicious code was inserted into its app by a "bad actor that could have compromised several Android users' information worldwide," Mint reports. The social media company recommended users to update to the latest version of the app for Android since the issue reportedly did not impact "Twitter for iOS."

* French competition authority Autorité de la Concurrence fined Google LLC about €150 million over "brutal and unjustified" suspension of keyword advertisers on its platform, U.K.'s The Independent reported, citing a statement from Chairman Isabelle de Silva. The Alphabet Inc. unit's rules need to be "clear and imposed equally to all advertisers," according to the official.

* Roughly 3 million homes, or about 10% of premises in the U.K., have access to full-fiber broadband, according to media regulator Ofcom. About 1.5 million more homes are able to subscribe to the broadband technology compared to the end of 2018, Ofcom said. Premises coverage rose 2% from September to the publication of Ofcom's report as network coverage became a key policy pledge during the U.K.'s December general election.


* Discovery Inc.'s Eurosport struck a new four-year agreement to broadcast The Championships, Wimbledon, live across 11 European countries, beginning 2020. The deal covers renewed rights in Belgium, Finland, Iceland, Hungary, Netherlands, Norway, Romania, Russia and Sweden, with the addition of Czech Republic and Slovakia for the first time.


* ARM Holdings PLC and Netherlands-based Gemalto NV are off-loading stakes in their security joint venture Trustonic Ltd., London's The Daily Telegraph reports, citing a regulatory filing. The SoftBank Corp.-owned British chipmaker is wooing potential bidders for the planned stake sale.

* U.K.'s BritBox, a joint subscription video-on-demand venture between the British Broadcasting Corp. and ITV PLC, will add 627 "Doctor Who Classic" content on its platform beginning Dec. 26. The collection of episodes includes spinoffs, documentaries and telesnaps.

* Accenture PLC completed its previously announced acquisition of French consulting company SILVEO SAS. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

* Ofcom appointed four new board members to MG ALBA, the body in charge of ensuring that quality TV programs in Gaelic are made available in Scotland. John Swinney, Scotland's deputy first minister and cabinet secretary for education and skills, approved the appointments.


* Deutsche Telekom AG was in talks with Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. to tap the Chinese equipment supplier for its 5G buildout plans, but the German operator put the discussions on hold, Reuters reports, citing three sources. Deutsche Telekom is said to be awaiting a resolution of a political debate on whether the country will allow Huawei to become a supplier for operators.

* A majority of Switzerland-based Tamedia AG's shareholders approved the company's name change to TX Group, effective Jan. 1, 2020. Four independent companies, TX Markets, Goldbach, 20 Minuten, and Tamedia, will be under the umbrella of TX Group.

* Rocket Internet SE and United Internet AG dissolved their cross-shareholding through two share buybacks, reports Handelsblatt. United Internet originally joined Rocket Internet five years ago, before the company's IPO.

* ProSiebenSat.1 Media SE plans to launch a celebrity version of "Der Bachelor" in the second quarter of 2020, reports German media magazine DWDL. Three celebrities will be invited to date singles onboard a cruise. The show is planned for the second quarter of 2020.


* France Télévisions SA is investing an additional €24 million to boost its digital development efforts, Advanced Television reports. The French public broadcaster will use the funds to improve the quality and content of its video-on-demand service and news platform, as well as enable the digital switchover of the France 4 and France Ô channels.

* A Paris court found France Télécom, now Orange SA, and three of its former executives guilty of moral harassment that prompted a spate of suicides, Reuters reports. The French operator was fined €75,000 and former CEO Didier Lombard was sentenced to one year in jail. Orange said it will not appeal.

* Iliad SA authorized a capital reduction of up to €1.4 billion, reports. The plan will be carried out via a public share buyback bid from Dec. 23 to Jan. 13, 2020, for a maximum of 11,666,666 shares at €120 per share.


* KPN NV will start offering gigabit internet in several large cities in the Netherlands in March 2020, according to a news release. Households that are connected to the fiber-optic network can from then on purchase internet at a speed of 1 gigabit per second.

* KPN modernized the radio network with equipment from Huawei throughout the Netherlands to promote the growth of 4G and to be able to launch 5G, Telecompaper reports. The first mobile sites have reportedly been converted to new equipment in The Hague region.

* KPN is not yet certain whether the company will dispose of the XS4ALL brand name, De Telegraaf reports, citing an interview with CEO Joost Farwerck. The executive wants to inform the employees about the possible changed plans for XS4ALL after the decision of the Enterprise Chamber of the Dutch Court on KPN's plans to abolish XS4ALL.


* Ericsson said it signed a credit facility agreement for $150 million with the Nordic Investment Bank. The funds will be used for research and development investments within 2020-2022, and to strengthen the company's balance sheet.

* Nordic Entertainment Group AB said it signed an agreement with NBCUniversal Media LLC's NBCUniversal International Distribution for kids and family content for the Viaplay AB streaming service and Viasat TV channels. The deal includes series and films from DreamWorks Animation LLC..

* Tele2 AB unit Tele2 Sweden said an agreement was reached between its subsidiary Com Hem AB and TV4 (SE) after the companies failed to agree on a distribution deal earlier this month. Com Hem customers can resume watching from TV4, Sjuan, TV12, and C More Entertainment AB channels. The companies are still in talks about the distribution of some other channels.


* The Mediapro Studio, a unit of Spanish broadcaster Mediapro, acquired Barcelona-based comedy producer EL Terrat De Produccions SL for an undisclosed sum, TBI Vision reports. Comedian and El Terrat founder and Andreu Buenafuente will remain in charge of the producer's operations under the new ownership.

* Proxy adviser ISS recommended to Mediaset SpA's shareholders to vote against amendments to the bylaws of the planned Dutch holding company, which the broadcasting company's Italian and Spanish businesses are intended to merge into, Reuters reports. The news comes after Mediaset and shareholder Vivendi SA failed to meet an out of court agreement about the planned restructuring.

* The Italian government will consider the parliamentary security committee's opinion stating the Chinese telecom operators should be prevented from participating in the country's 5G network development, Reuters reports, citing a statement from cabinet undersecretary Riccardo Fraccaro. However, Italian Industry Minister Stefano Patuanelli said Huawei must be allowed to participate in the country's 5G network buildout, according to a separate Reuters report.

* Telefónica SA opened Lab Creatividad 360, a video laboratory where students can develop immersive audio-visual projects across sports, entertainment, fiction and advertising, Telecompaper reports. The Spanish telecom operator launched the facility in partnership with the Image and Multimedia Technology Centre of the Polytechnic University of Catalonia.

* Enel SpA's wholesale broadband unit Enel Open Fiber SPA deployed its gigabit fiber-to-the-home service in Montalto delle Marche town, located in Italy's central Marche region, Telecompaper reports. The service will be gradually expanded to other digital divide areas across the region.

* La Liga TV will launch a dedicated channel on Sky Ltd.'s platform on Jan. 13, Broadband TV News reports. Access to the channel will cost £5.99 per month as a stand-alone service, or £11.99 when included in Premier Sports' complete subscription offer.


* Rostelecom PJSC shareholders approved the company's planned capital increase to help partially finance the acquisition of Tele2 Russia Telecom. The Russian national operator will issue up to 1.2 billion additional ordinary shares at 93.21 Russian rubles per share to VTB Bank PJSC through a private placement. The proceeds will be used to acquire a partial stake in Tele2 Russia under a three-stage, cash-and-share-swap deal.

* Yandex NV's shareholders approved the company's proposed corporate governance restructuring. Alexey Komissarov and Alexei Yakovitsky were appointed as nonexecutive members of Yandex's board of directors until the company's annual general meeting in 2023.


The Best Of: Most read: BritBox streaming service; child labor suit against big tech: Articles about the streaming service BritBox and a human rights firm's lawsuit against major technology companies were among the most read in technology, media and telecommunications news for the week ended Dec. 20.


Economics of Internet: YouTube US viewing gains melt away in 2019: YouTube unquestionably generates a massive amount of video viewing each quarter in the U.S., but the video giant's growth has slowed considerably as 2019 has progressed.

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

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