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Banijay eyes joint bid for Endemol; VEON axes plan to buy South Asian assets


* Banijay Group SAS is considering a joint bid for Endemol Shine Group Ltd. as it plans to select certain assets from the Dutch company, TBI Vision reports. ProSiebenSat.1 Media SE's Red Arrow Studios is reportedly one of the companies considering a joint bid with Banijay. However, in a separate DWDL report, Red Arrow Studios denied involvement.

* VEON terminated its proposed $2.55 billion acquisition of Global Telecom Holding SAE's assets in Pakistan and Bangladesh. The move follows recent events regarding the Pakistani rupee, as well as the supposedly forthcoming disapproval of the deal from Global Telecom's minority shareholders, the Dutch telecom and technology company said.


* The European Commission has decided to coordinate the allocation of radio spectrum for use by short-range devices in the 874-876 MHz and 915-921 MHz bands, which will support internet of things technology.

* French aerospace company Thales SA's proposed acquisition of Dutch digital security company Gemalto NV is now expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2019. Thales and Gemalto are in talks with several antitrust bodies on ways to ease regulatory concerns in the market for general purpose hardware security modules. The concessions were submitted in response to concerns from, among others, the European Commission, Reuters reports.


* Johnston Press PLC will launch a formal sale process through its adviser Rothschild after exploring restructuring options for about a year, London's The Daily Telegraph reports. The publisher intends to avoid insolvency as it is due to repay £220 million in bonds next summer. The sale process could take weeks, the report said.

* Walter Scott, a business partner of Warren Buffett, will help finance the Granahan McCourt-led consortium that intends to win the bid on Ireland's National Broadband Plan, Dublin's Irish Independent reports. Other parties looking to invest in the consortium include U.S. venture capitalist Oak Hill and Granahan McCourt CEO David McCourt.

* The British Broadcasting Corp. has acquired the second season of thriller "Killing Eve," shortly after the first season premiered on BBC One and on BBC iPlayer's BBC Three.

* Dentsu Inc. agreed to acquire a 100% stake in U.K.-based B2B market research company B2b International Ltd. through U.K. unit Dentsu Aegis UK Ltd. The terms of the deal were not provided.


* Switzerland will stop digital terrestrial television broadcasts in 2019 and will instead use cable, internet and satellite for TV services, Advanced Television reports. The planned change is in line with the country's Federal Council's provided concession to public broadcaster SSR, which will take effect from January 2019 and valid till December 2022.

* The Bundesverband Deutscher Zeitungsverleger has welcomed the proposal of the Austrian European Union Council Presidency to persuade large Internet companies such as Alphabet Inc.'s Google LLC, Inc. and Facebook Inc. to open their data pools.


* Iliad said Free and Vendée Numérique signed a deal enabling Free to offer fiber services on the Public Initiative Network in the Vendée region of western France. The project is being implemented from 2017 through 2020, with an investment of more than €100 million with regional, national and European Union funding to provide about 70,000 fiber sockets by 2020.

* Altice Europe unit SFR Group SA launched a soccer bundle for SFR Box subscribers for €38.90 per month. The offer includes channels RMC Sport, beIN Sports and Canal Plus.

* Orange SA announced the launch of Orange Bank in Guadeloupe, Martinique, French Guiana, Mayotte and Reunion Island, a year after the launch in France.


* De Persgroep NV and RTL Group's RTL Nederland have signed a three-year strategic partnership in the area of advertising sales and branded content. No financial details of the deal were disclosed.

* KPN NV has entered into a partnership with U.S.-based company VoIP Innovations. Under the agreement, VoIP Innovations' CPaaS product Apidaze will be featured in KPN's API store and its customers in the Netherlands can access Apidaze products, such as voice, SMS and WeBRTC.

* Dutch public broadcaster NPO is expecting a year-over-year decrease of about 5% in advertisement revenues, after a drop of 4.5% in 2017, reports NOS. According to Frank Volmer, the director of advertisement branch STER, the decrease is due to low online ad sales.


* Apple Inc. acquired Danish startup Spektral for more than $30 million, TechCrunch reports, citing a company confirmation. Spektral has worked on technology that is used to cut out figures from backgrounds in digital images and videos.

* Modern Times Group said unit DreamHack AB has formed a multiyear media partnership with Discovery Inc.'s Discovery Networks Denmark Aps and Danish Superliga to create eSuperliga. The eSuperliga competition will be played on both physical and virtual pitches by Denmark's top soccer clubs.

* Nokia Corp. is launching new fixed wireless access products to support new ultrafast broadband deployments. The rollout is also intended to help operators deliver more bandwidth to their customers at an accelerated pace.

* Sanoma Corp. expects stronger-than-anticipated profits and improved overall performance in 2018. The forecast is based on the prospect of better results from Sanoma Learning and the company's Dutch subsidiary Sanoma Media Netherlands BV.


* Italian communications regulator Agcom has defended the big amount spent by the country's telecom operators for spectrum purchased in the recent 5G auction, Telecompaper reports, citing Reuters. Agcom head Marcello Cardani said the auction price is "never excessive," with all telcos having determined the right amount to spend. The 5G tender raised €6.55 billion.

* Telecom Italia SpA teamed up with Nokia to activate the second 5G antenna in San Marino, as part of the San Marino 5G project that seeks to transform the country into Europe's first 5G state.

* U.S. independent producer Propagate struck a deal to develop, produce and distribute original formats and content with Greek broadcaster Antenna Group SA, TBI Vision reports. The deal includes local versions of game show format "Wham-O's Slip 'N Slide" for the Ant1 TV channel and hidden-camera prank show "My Best Friend's Fear" for Makedonia TV, both of which are being developed and will be aired in 2019.

* Telefónica SA-owned pay-TV platform Movistar Plus is slashing prices of its soccer packages in Spain, in a bid to gain more customers and recover TV rights costs, Advanced Television reports. Among other changes, new customers will be able to watch all soccer matches for €65 monthly, instead of the current rate of €80.

* Telefónica's Spanish unit has begun deploying its narrowband internet of things network in the country's Castilla y Leon region, as part of the Smart Rural Territory project, Telecompaper reports.

* Vodafone Group PLC unit Vodafone España SAU has committed to support the acceleration of 30 new startups under the Minerva public-private program, in partnership with the government of Spain's Andalucia region, Telecompaper reports.


* Sergey Soldatenkov is stepping down as general director and CEO of Russian mobile operator MegaFon ahead of his contract's expiration in 2019. MegaFon's board is keen on naming Gevork Vermishian, currently the company's executive director, to replace Soldatenkov.

* Facebook has deleted more than 66 accounts, profiles, pages and apps from Russian database provider SocialDataHub over allegations of unauthorized collection of user data, Reuters reports, citing a statement. The social network claimed that SocialDataHub violated the former's terms of service and has sent a complaint asking the latter to stop collecting data from users.

* U.S. production company MarVista Entertainment Inc. has struck broadcast licensing deals for more than 120 of its titles in Bulgaria, Hungary and Poland, Rapid TV News reports, citing a statement. MarVista agreed to license more than 70 movie titles to Bulgaria's bTV Media Group, 35 titles to Hungary's Story TV and several others to Poland's Telewizja Polska SA.

* Russian broadcaster TV-3 secured the rights to remake StudioCanal's crime thriller series "La Porta Rossa," TBI Vision reports. TV-3's production arm 1-2-3 Production will be in charge of the remake, with the Vivendi SA unit set to distribute the series globally.

* Bosnian operator BH Telecom d.d Sarajevo has added Turkish international news channel TRT World to its lineup, the latter said.


Analysis: Google data breach could lead to stricter regulation, brand damage: Google's delay in disclosing a recent security glitch raised questions likely to draw government scrutiny and could have a lasting impact on the firm's image, analysts and brand experts said.


Consumer insights: Digital sports growth remains elusive; leagues by demographics: Users of digital sports services, e.g., MLB.TV, are not using the sports apps to replace other TV options, according to our fall 2018 survey results.

Anne Freier, Sylvia Edwards Davis, Charlotte van Hek and Gerard O'Dwyer contributed to this report.

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