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Fox makes play for Sky; Telefónica Deutschland names new CEO

TOP NEWS

* 21st Century Fox Inc. proposed to acquire Sky plc for £10.75 per share, Sky News reports, citing a statement. However, Sky said there can be no certainty that an offer will be made by Fox. The latter confirmed that it reached an agreement in principle about the possible offer.

* British opposition politicians said Fox's new takeover bid for Sky should be investigated by the country's antitrust regulators, Reuters reports. Liberal Democrat MP Vince Cable reportedly argued that the new acquisition attempt would not be in the public interest.

* Telefónica Deutschland GmbH's supervisory board appointed Markus Haas to be the company's new CEO starting in January 2017. Haas, who will replace Thorsten Dirks, will lead the German telco together with CFO Rachel Empey.

PAN-EUROPEAN

* The EU General Court requested the Irish government to amend its appeal against the European Commission's order for Apple Inc. to pay unpaid taxes of €13 billion in the country, RTÉ News reports.

UK AND IRELAND

* SoftBank Group Corp. chose London's upscale Mayfair area as the site of the headquarters for its $100 billion tech fund, Bloomberg News reports, citing a person familiar with the plans. The Japanese tech giant has already hired people for the SoftBank Vision Fund office.

* Virgin Media Inc. is preparing to roll out a new budget broadband service, in a bid to step up competition with TalkTalk Telecom Group PLC, The Daily Telegraph of London reports. The move is reportedly part of the Liberty Global plc unit's plans to expand its cable network next year.

* Welsh public broadcaster S4C said CEO Ian Jones is stepping down by the end of 2017. Jones' move follows the completion of the British government's independent review of the channel.

* British telecom regulator Ofcom opened a public consultation on a possible grant of Code powers under the country's Communications Act 2003 to Cornerstone Telecommunications Infrastructure Ltd. Cornerstone is a joint venture between Vodafone Group Plc and Telefónica SA.

* A U.K. court sentenced Terry O'Reilly to four years in jail for supplying illegal IPTV boxes that allow viewers to watch unauthorized content, the Federation Against Copyright Theft said.

GERMANY, SWITZERLAND AND AUSTRIA

* German online food delivery service Delivery Hero agreed to acquire rival Foodpanda for an undisclosed sum, Reuters reports, citing a company statement.

* The Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications elected Austria's Johannes Gungl to be chairman for 2018 and vice chairman for 2017 and 2019, according to a news release. Gungl is CEO of the Austrian Regulatory Authority for Broadcasting and Telecommunications.

* Vodafone Deutschland partnered with startup CardioSecur to bring an electrocardiogram with four electrodes and a smartphone app to the wider market in Germany, according to a news release. The "electrocardiogram for the pocket" measures and evaluates heart activity, and advises patients when to see a doctor.

* Switzerland's Federal Council chose Renzo Simoni to be its new representative on Swisscom AG's board, effective April 2017, replacing Hans Werder, according to a news release. Swisscom has a government representative on its board because the government holds a majority stake under the Swiss Telecommunications Enterprise Act.

FRANCE

* Altice NV's SFR Group unveiled plans to provide close to 100% high-speed broadband coverage in Isère. More than 450,000 connections will be deployed throughout the French region by 2024 at the latest.

* A judgment against Heetch, the French ride-sharing app similar to Uber Technologies Inc. or LeCab, will be made March 2, 2017, La Tribune reports. French prosecutors are asking for a €300,000 fine and a ban on the two founders operating a business for two years.

* The Digital Society Forum, founded by Orange SA CEO Stéphane Richard, published its third report on the digital engagement of French citizens. The report revealed that while a quarter of the population are politically engaged digitally, more than a third believe online petitions and digital engagement have little effect on government policies.

* French telecom regulator ARCEP unveiled a dashboard to help with a transparent transition to IPv6. This tool will provide status reports on IPv6 rollouts in France, along with details on the protocol's adoption and deployment.

* Bouygues Telecom is offering 20 films on BBox VoD to its BBox subscribers as part of its TechNoël special. Customers can access 20 films in unlimited video-on-demand from Dec. 9 to Dec. 18 via the BBox decoder.

NETHERLANDS, BELGIUM AND LUXEMBOURG

* The European Court of Justice said the sale and use of media players that allow users to freely stream films and series are illegal due to copyright infringement, TotaalTV reports. A Dutch court had asked the EU court for advice in a case in which they sued a dealer of media players, Filmspeler, whose activities now might become illegal after the the court's decision.

* The Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs wants to implement Licensed Share Access, whereby frequencies are not reserved for one application such as radio, but can also be temporarily used for other applications such as video, Telecompaper reports. According to the ministry, whenever a frequency is used, the main user of the spectrum must give permission for someone else to use it.

* Network provider Eurofiber partnered with Fore Freedom, a company which installs fiber networks for the corporate market, to transform no-longer-used fuel lines from the Ministry of Defense into means to roll out fiber optic networks, Emerce reports. During a trial, Eurofiber found that the rollout of a fiber network via the old lines was realized significantly faster than when a whole new network had to be created.

NORDIC COUNTRIES

* Finland wants Russia to participate in the 10,500-km Northeast Passage fiber-optic cable project between Asia and Europe, Helsingin Sanomat reports. The project was discussed when Finnish Premier Juha Sipilä met his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev in Oulu.

* Telenor may have signed defective leases for base stations in Thailand, Aftenposten reports. Telenor CEO Sigve Brekke has not confirmed if the base station contracts were signed when he sat on Thai mobile operator DTAC's board. Telenor owns 42% of DTAC's shares.

* Swedish authorities may not be ready to file charges against Telia Co. AB's suspected illegal activities in Uzbekistan until 2017, Dagens Nyheter reports. The inquiry is focused on Telia's suspected payment of bribes to obtain mobile network licenses in Uzbekistan.

* Tele2 AB CEO Allison Kirkby denied rumors she could become the new chief executive of digital investment group Kinnevik AB, Dagens Industri reports. Kirkby is tipped to replace Kinnevik's recently ousted Lorenzo Grabau.

* Telenor ASA shareholder Danske Capital asked the Norwegian telco's board to resolve the conflict between Chairman Gunn Wærsted and Group CEO Sigve Brekke, e24.no reports. Danske Capital was reacting to board-level leaks that Wærsted has lost confidence in Brekke and wants him to resign.

SOUTHERN EUROPE

* Italian infrastructure fund F2i could soon exercise its option to acquire a stake in Enel SpA unit Enel Open Fiber, Telecompaper reports, citing unnamed sources mentioned by Il Sole 24 Ore. F2i is one of the major shareholders of Italian fiber-optic firm Metroweb, which was acquired by EOF in July.

* Spanish broadcaster Atresmedia teamed up with Cablevisión to feed selected content of Atreseries to Flow, the Grupo Clarin SA unit's IPTV platform, Rapid TV News reports.

* Telefónica's business solutions unit will create an Internet of Things platform for WIND Hellas Telecommunications SA, allowing enterprises to interconnect and manage machines through the web, Telecompaper reports.

EASTERN EUROPE

* UPC Slovakia began offering Ziggo NV's Horizon Go service for Windows 10-powered PCs and mobile phones, Telecompaper reports.

* Russia's Federal Antimonopoly Service is investigating Rostelecom PJSC's prices for access to duct infrastructure in Siberia and the Far East, Telecompaper reports, citing TASS. The probe comes as infrastructure users reportedly complained of the increased rates in the regions.

* Mail.ru Group launched a new version of its Cloud Mail.ru service for Android and iOS users, Telecompaper reports, citing Cnews.ru. The updated version features a more flexible tariff line and greater emphasis on storage of photos and videos taken using mobile devices.

* Cyfrowy Polsat SA-owned video-on-demand platform IPLA added National Geographic, Nat Geo Wild and FilmBox Action to its offering, effective Jan. 6, 2017, Broadband TV News reports.

* Ukrainian telco Kyivstar intends to alter the conditions and prices of its Free Roaming For Business service, effective Dec. 15, Telecompaper reports.

FEATURED NEWS

The Daily Dose Asia-Pacific: Wanda chairman sends warning to Trump; Chinese deal for Aixtron axed: Dalian Wanda Group Chairman Wang Jianlin said any move to curb Chinese investment in the U.S. could put the company's American jobs at stake, while Fujian Grand Chip Investment canceled its planned acquisition of German tech firm Aixtron.

MarketWeek: Sky's the limit for Fox investors: Fox's plan to buy out the remaining stake in European pay TV giant Sky invigorated investors at the end of a bullish week on the markets.

FEATURED RESEARCH

Global Multichannel: Choice, quality and prices rising for Southern European quadruple plays: Southern European operators are offering more quadruple-play options with higher-quality services than they were a year ago, according to an SNL Kagan analysis of such bundles in Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain.

Phoebe Magdirila, Amanda Kelly, Stefanie Eschenbacher, Charlotte van Hek and Gerard O'Dwyer contributed to this report. The Daily Dose has an editorial deadline of 7 a.m. London time. Some external links may require a subscription.