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Telefónica to widen OTT reach; Facebook's Marketplace launches in Europe

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Telefónica to widen OTT reach; Facebook's Marketplace launches in Europe

TOP NEWS

* Telefónica SA is looking to roll out a streaming platform for European markets, such as Germany and the U.K., Broadband TV News reports, citing El Pais. According to sources, the company plans to distribute self-produced content to customers in European countries outside Spain, which do not have access to Movistar+.

* Facebook Inc. launched its trading service Marketplace in 17 countries across Europe. Users in Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland can buy and sell goods in their communities via the e-commerce platform.

* A renewed push toward the type of precision ad targeting that is standard among digital advertisers could signal a wave of fresh investment and M&A in the TV industry, industry observers have said.

UK AND IRELAND

* Netflix Inc. has ordered a supernatural-themed series produced by All3Media Ltd.'s New Pictures, TBI Vision reports. The untitled eight-episode series will revolve around two teenage runaways.

* STV Group PLC said it appointed ITV Plc board member Simon Pitts as the Scottish broadcaster's CEO, effective Jan. 3, 2018. Pitts will replace Rob Woodward, who announced his intention to step down within 12 months.

* Uber Technologies Inc. will roll out a feature in the U.K. that would allow passengers to tip their drivers, London's The Guardian reports. The ride-hailing service will also begin to charge customers with a waiting charge of 20 pence per minute, effective Aug. 22.

* Marcus Hutchins, the British cybersecurity researcher who helped stop the WannaCry attack, pleaded not guilty in the U.S. to federal charges of building and selling malicious code intended for stealing banking credentials, Reuters reports. Hutchins was arrested in Las Vegas over the mentioned charges that are unrelated to the WannaCry ransomware attack.

GERMANY, SWITZERLAND AND AUSTRIA

* Viacom Inc.'s Viacom International Media Networks is bringing MTV Germany back to free TV from January 2018. The channel will be available in Germany, Switzerland and Austria, and a live stream version will continue to be available.

* Live sports streaming platform Dazn Germany has presented its plans for the upcoming Bundesliga season, reports DWDL. The company acquired the rights to stream the highlights and will show excerpts 40 minutes after the final whistle. The channel will also show compact highlights from the matches.

* Rocket Internet SE has announced plans for a share buyback program for up to €100 million and 5 million shares, representing 3.03% of the outstanding share capital of the company.The buyback will be executed by Xetra trading on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, beginning Aug. 14.

FRANCE

* TF1 Group announced that new thriller "La Mante" will premiere Sept. 4. The six-part miniseries, starring Carole Bouquet, is about a serial killer in France.

NETHERLANDS, BELGIUM AND LUXEMBOURG

* Exact Group BV announced that an agreement has been reached to sell its specialized solutions division, which includes Macola, JobBOSS and MAX. The division will be acquired by funds advised by Apax Partners and combined with ECi Software Solutions Inc. of Fort Worth, Texas, under the leadership of ECi management.

* Dutch provider Delta said it will stop offering analog TV from early 2018, reports Tweakers. The termination should benefit the development of a fast cable network.

* KPN NV announced the deployment of a new mobile network at football stadium De Kuip in Rotterdam, Netherlands, home of football team Feyenoord, writes Telecompaper. The network offers sufficient 4G capacity for a full stadium.

NORDIC COUNTRIES

* Finnish mobile game maker and animation studio Rovio Entertainment Ltd. may go public as early as September, people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg News. According to the report, the public float could see the "Angry Birds" maker raise about $400 million from a local listing, bringing its valuation at about $2 billion. However, the company could also decide to remain private for longer.

* Swedish company Flow Network, which created a video-streaming platform for local newspapers, is valued at 10.2 million Swedish kronor in its latest share issue, Breakit reports. The company has raised 50 million kronor in venture capital since its foundation in 2014.

* Telenor ASA CEO Sigve Brekke said the telco is on track to achieve its cost-cutting target of 1 billion Norwegian kroner in 2017, Reuters reports. Brekke attributes this to a reduction in the number of Telenor's employees and the digitization of its customer contact system. The cost-cutting plans were first announced in July.

* Telenor will allow external access to aggregated customer data, effective by December, E24 reports. Telenor said the aggregated data could give municipalities insight into where and how its population travel, which countries tourists come from, and even predict the spread of infectious diseases.

SOUTHERN EUROPE

* The board of Portugal-based media group Media Capital said MEO's bid for the company is "adequate" but suggested the offer price could be increased, Telecompaper reports, citing a company statement. MEO is owned by PT Portugal, whose parent company Altice NV struck a deal in July to acquire Media Capital, valuing the latter at €440 million.

* PT Portugal is planning to outsource more than 400 customer service workers, Telecompaper reports, citing Público. The Altice NV unit is inviting the affected employees to end their work contracts, while suggesting some of them could be transferred to other companies via a facility transmission scheme.

* Iliad's Free will not be able to use its brand name in Italy, as the name Free was registered by Vodafone Group Plc's Vodafone Italia on Dec. 23, 2016, Univers Freebox reports.

EASTERN EUROPE

* MegaFon's proposed takeover of mobile retail joint venture Euroset has secured approval from Russia's Federal Antimonopoly Service, Telecompaper reports, citing Tdaily.ru. Under an asset swap deal, MegaFon will buy the 50% stake in Euroset owned by VEON unit Beeline, in exchange for the latter getting half of the retail chain's shops.

* Deutsche Telekom AG unit T-Mobile Poland rolled out pilot smart city projects in the Polish cities of Nysa and Pionki, Telecompaper reports. The projects involve the use of smart controls to modernize the cities' lighting systems.

* Polish direct-to-home platform nc+ is adding the Canal+ NOW channel to its lineup, effective Aug. 15, Broadband TV News reports. The new channel, which offers access to many sporting events, will be made available to subscribers of Canal+ premium packages.

* European cinema TV channel Eurochannel has debuted in Russia, available on Rostelecom PJSC's Cinema package, Broadband TV News reports.

* World Wrestling Entertainment Inc.'s WWE Network will livestream its "SummerSlam" event in Russian on Aug. 21. Mordechai Margolin and Zhantuar Smagulov will provide live commentary ringside from Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., the company said.

FEATURED NEWS

M&A Replay: European deals through Aug. 11: Facebook, Netflix, Vodafone: S&P Global Market Intelligence provides a wrap-up of European media and communications deal announcements, completions and updates from Aug. 7 to Aug. 11.

M&A Replay: New Media acquiring Morris Publishing assets; Netflix buys comic book publisher: S&P Global Market Intelligence provides a wrap-up of U.S. companies' media and communications deal announcements and completions from Aug. 7 to Aug. 11.

FEATURED RESEARCH

Economics of Internet: The rise of OTT services in Middle East, Africa: Despite the challenges in infrastructure and affordability for video streaming services, the Middle East and Africa continue to show potential for over-the-top growth.

Anne Freier, Sylvia Edwards Davis, Charlotte van Hek 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.