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Deutsche Telekom to drop Huawei; Facebook faces Irish probe over photo glitch

TOP NEWS

* Deutsche Telekom AG has pledged to stop using products from Chinese telecom equipment supplier Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd., following pressure from U.S. officials amid rising security concerns, Reuters reports, citing sources. The German telco's plans, along with those of SoftBank Group Corp., are expected to help their respective units T-Mobile US Inc. and Sprint Corp. in securing U.S. security approval for their merger.

* Ireland's Data Protection Commission is probing a glitch at Facebook Inc. that may have exposed private pictures of up to 6.8 million users, Reuters reports. In a blog post, the social network has apologized for the bug and said it would notify affected users.

* As the effects of U.S. charges against a Huawei executive ripple through global markets, representatives of some small and midsize U.S. wireless carriers say an outright ban on Chinese equipment could be cost-prohibitive for their businesses.

PAN-EUROPEAN

* The European Commission, the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union have failed to clinch a deal on the final form of the European Union's Copyright Directive, Digital TV Europe reports. The talks between the three EU institutions reached a stalemate on the directive's Article 13, which would force tech giants such as Facebook, Twitter Inc. and Google LLC's YouTube to pay for content made by artists and journalists that appear on their sites. The same article would also call for the use of filtering systems to block illegal access to copyrighted content.

* The number of mobile calls and the use of mobile data by European citizens traveling within the European Union have both increased since the end of roaming charges across the regional bloc in June 2017, according to an interim report by the European Commission.

UK AND IRELAND

* RTL Group's Fremantle, formerly FremantleMedia Ltd., promoted Angela Neillis to the post of senior vice president of nonscripted content. The production giant also promoted Rebecca Dundon to vice president of scripted content.

* Jonathan Oxley, competition group director and an executive board member at British telecom watchdog Ofcom, will lead the U.K. Regulators Network as its new chief executive.

* Ofcom has unveiled measures to help British broadband customers get the best service. These include requiring broadband operators to provide clearer information about their services, a review of broadband prices and a consumer campaign.

GERMANY, SWITZERLAND AND AUSTRIA

* Bavarian media authority BLM confirmed it has granted Turner Broadcasting System Deutschland GmbH and NBCUniversal Media LLC's NBCUniversal Global Networks Deutschland broadcast licenses for six international TV channels each, ahead of Britain's exit from the European Union.

* Deutsche Telekom plans to build the 5G factory of the future by equipping Center Connected Industry at RWTH Aachen with a campus network. The collaboration will focus on identifying and developing solutions and applications that could increase customers' productivity.

* Swiss digital industry association SUISSEDIGITAL welcomed the Swiss National Council's decision that states that Replay TV should be considered a private copy, allowing the skipping of adverts to remain as unrestricted as possible.

* Vodafone GmbH announced plans to create a digital shield to warn drivers in real time about upcoming congestion in order to reduce traffic accidents and fatalities. Alongside industry experts, the project is being tested at the Vodafone Group PLC unit's 5G Mobility Lab in Aldenhoven.

FRANCE

* Video-on-demand revenue in France has grown historically, reaching €431 million in the first nine months of 2018, an increase of 25% compared to 2017, according to national film agency CNC. Over 2018 it is estimated that the VOD market should reach more than €670 million, up 38%.

* High administrative court Conseil d'État rejected the appeal lodged by former Radio France President and CEO of Mathieu Gallet for the annulment of his dismissal decided in January. The dismissal followed Gallet's conviction on favoring two consulting firms when he chaired media repository Institut National de l'Audiovisuel.

NETHERLANDS, BELGIUM AND LUXEMBOURG

* Proximus announced a partnership with the SILK ecosystem for the acceleration of its digital transformation, starting April 2019. In the SILK ecosystem, Famous Grey will act as strategic partner and ecosystem leader, Maxus as media partner, Prophets as digital creative agency and Altavia Act. will be responsible for packaging and communication in stores.

* Broadcaster KRO-NCRV announced that the three associations behind it will merge into Vereniging KRO-NCRV, effective Jan. 1, 2019. The current associations are Verening KRO, Vereniging NCRV and KRO-NCRV itself.

* Regional TV channel CTV Zeeland will stop broadcasting in the Netherlands' Zeeland province on Jan. 1, 2019, and will continue as production company CCXL Media, MediaMagazine reports. Regional broadcaster Omroep Zeeland will remain as the only regional TV channel in the province.

* L2Fiber Rotterdam started rolling out a fiber network in Rotterdam, which will be done in phases over the coming years, MediaMagazine reports. When completed, L2Fiber Rotterdam will open up the network under equal conditions for all providers of internet, TV and phone to offer their services.

NORDIC COUNTRIES

* Danish data center company GlobalConnect A/S is expanding its data halls in Taastrup, Kolding and northern Germany, Berlingske Business reports. The company said the expansions are necessary to meet growing demand.

* The Danish government said rural municipalities in the regions of central Jutland and Zealand are the winners when it comes to receiving support to strengthen its broadband coverage. A total of 91 projects covering 4,600 addresses have received support of 150 million Danish kroner, most of them in rural areas.

SOUTHERN EUROPE

* Vivendi SA reiterated its call for an immediate meeting of Telecom Italia SpA's shareholders to vote for the appointment of new financial auditors, as well as the replacement of five board members on the list of activist shareholder Elliott Management Corp. The French media group has nominated Flavia Mazzarella, Franco Bernabè, Gabriele Galateri di Genola, Rob van der Valk and Francesco Vatalaro to the Italian telco's board. Telecom Italia said its board will review Vivendi's request.

* Elliott Management is eyeing a stake in Spain's Telefónica SA, Telecompaper reports, citing Expansión and El Confidencial. The activist fund also reportedly intends to influence the company's management with the help of other shareholders in the telecom giant.

EASTERN EUROPE

* Telewizja Polska SA is interested in acquiring the local service of subscription video-on-demand platform ShowMax, including the rights to its content, Broadband TV News reports, citing Wirtualne Media. A deal could reportedly give a boost to the Polish public broadcaster's own video-on-demand service, VOD TVP.

* Telekom Slovenije dd rolled out Neo, a 'smart life' platform that can be used to manage TV and web content via voice control in the Slovenian language, Broadband TV News reports.

* Journalist Božidar Sundic will lead Montenegrin public broadcaster RTCG for a four-year term, following his appointment by the broadcaster's council, Digital TV Europe reports. RTCG's council also approved plans to invest in the broadcaster's online portal, with more programs focused on national minorities.

FEATURED NEWS

MarketWeek: Tencent Music shares hit high note, then fade after US market debut: Tencent Music saw its shares pop and then fizzle during the Chinese streaming service's first days of trading last week. CBS Corp. shares slipped as internal concerns surfaced regarding the sexual misconduct investigation into former CEO Les Moonves.

FEATURED RESEARCH

Economics of TV & Film: 'Bohemian Rhapsody' tunes up big profit for Fox: The major studios began rolling out their holiday tentpole films at the start of November and several ended up drawing big audiences and box office. The Freddie Mercury biopic "Bohemian Rhapsody" topped the film profitability projections chart.

Daniela Latini, Sylvia Edwards Davis, Koen Pijnappels and Esben Svendsen contributed to this report.

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