* Apple Inc. has filed an appeal against the Munich regional court's ruling to ban the sale of certain iPhone models in Germany, Telecompaper reports, citing Wiwo.de. The move came after U.S. chipmaker Qualcomm Inc. posted security bonds totaling €1.34 billion to enforce a permanent injunction against selected iPhone models in Germany.
* Mediaset SpA is considering acquiring the 48.4% stake in Mediaset España Comunicación SA that it does not already own, to consolidate its Spanish operations, Digital TV Europe reports, citing Il Sole 24 Ore. The Italian broadcaster's plan is part of its intention to become a pan-European broadcaster.
* Hamburg is collaborating with Irish authorities to halt the spread of German politicians' data on Twitter, Reuters reports. Hamburg's data protection agency has not received a response from Twitter on its request to delete the short links to other platforms where these data are stored. However, the Twitter account that spread the data has now been deleted.
UK AND IRELAND
* Alphabet Inc. unit Google LLC has secured a license from the Central Bank of Ireland to issue and acquire payments to consumers and businesses, both within the country and across the European Union, Dublin's The Irish Times reports. The license was granted to Google Payment Ireland under the second Payment Services Directive regulation.
* Amazon.com Inc.'s cloud unit Amazon Web Services Inc. has won a British government contract to host the initial stage of the Crown Marketplace, an online portal for the procurement of goods and services to be used by government departments and councils, London's The Daily Telegraph reports.
* British Telecom announced the opening of a new office in Singapore, which houses about 300 staff. The new office will allow the British telco to deliver its services across Southeast Asia, including cybersecurity solutions for private and public sector organizations.
* Affiliates of U.K.-based private equity firm CVC Capital Partners Ltd.'s CVC Fund VII completed their offer to acquire all outstanding shares of ConvergeOne Holdings Inc. for $12.50 per share in cash. ConvergeOne provides collaboration and technology services to large and medium-sized U.S. companies.
* The London borough of Havering secured £800,000 of funding for the deployment of a new fiber-optic broadband network in its Rainham area, ISPreview reports. The funding will come from the Greater London Authority's Strategic Investment Pot.
GERMANY, SWITZERLAND AND AUSTRIA
* Aschendorff Medien GmbH & Co. KG, which publishes German newspaper Westfälische Nachrichten, and the publisher of Westfalen-Blatt are merging their media activities under a new entity, Westfälischen Medien Holding AG, Westfälische Nachrichten reports.
* French mobile device manufacturer Archos SA announced a strategic partnership with Blockchain Foundry Inc., under which the latter will grant Archos 3.7 million common shares or about 5% of its capital. The deal also enables Blockchain Foundry to become the exclusive North American distributor of Archos' Safe-T range of hardware cryptocurrency wallets and blockchain secured solutions.
NETHERLANDS, BELGIUM AND LUXEMBOURG
* Liberty Global PLC's stake in Telenet has increased to more than 60% in September 2018, following the latter's buyback of shares on the open market, Telecompaper reports. The Belgian operator made the recent announcement in line with transparency.
* Dutch provider Ziggo NV has said it does not have any plans to phase out analogue cable radio this year, MediaMagazine reports. Dutch media earlier reported that the operator would shut down its analogue radio offering in 2019, something Ziggo has now contradicted.
* Erland Galjaard, former program director of RTL Nederland, is in talks with Talpa about taking up a position at the media company, Nu.nl reports. It is not yet clear which position Galjaard would take on.
* New online youth platform ZTACK has started with an online radio channel and a number of podcasts, MediaMagazine reports. Besides audio content, ZTACK will provide video content, articles and events, facilitated via ZTACK.nl, Facebook Inc.'s Instagram Inc., Snap Inc.'s Snapchat and YouTube.
* Dutch navigation technology company TomTom NV will collaborate with automotive propulsion solutions provider Delphi Technologies PLC. The partnership will focus on developing electronic and software applications to further optimize vehicle fuel efficiency and emissions through the use of real-time mapping data.
* Ericsson is stepping up its legal action against India's Reliance Communications Ltd., Dagens Industri reports. Ericsson is demanding a payment of 1.5 billion Swedish kronor from RCom that it claims it is owed for network operating services provided.
* Network operators Telia Co. AB, Tele2 AB and Tre AB reported service outages to customers linked to Storm Alfrida, Sydsvenskan reports. The storm caused major disruptions to mobile networks across southern Sweden and interrupted delivery of broadband services.
* Sony Corp.'s Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc. is considering selling its two Italian free-to-air channels, Cine Sony and Pop, Advanced Television reports, citing Il Sole 24 Ore. Mediaset, Discovery Inc. and Viacom Inc. are said to be the potential buyers. A decision is anticipated either later in January or February.
* French telecommunications infrastructure company Groupe Circet SA has acquired Spanish telecom services provider Cableven SL, Telecompaper reports. The move came after Circet acquired telecom and transport services company KN Group, which caters to U.K. and Irish clients.
* Telekom Srbija ad has acquired local cable operators Radijus vector and AVcom for an undisclosed sum, Broadband TV News reports. The Serbian company plans to acquire more operators, the report said, citing company coordinator Vladimir Lucic's interview with Blic.
* Romanian IT services provider Bittnet Systems SA completed the acquisition of its local peer Crescendo International SRL for 10.9 million Romanian lei, SeeNews reports. Bittnet acquired Crescendo via the former's subsidiary, Dendrio Solutions SRL.
* The Polish government plans to auction frequencies in the 3.6-3.8 GHz and 26 GHz bands by 2020, timed within a year after the amendment of the Telecommunications Act becomes effective, which is anticipated in the first to second quarter of 2020, Telecompaper reports, citing Telko.in. Auction for 5G frequencies in the band of 3.4-3.6 GHz will follow suit.
* T-Mobile Polska SA has won in a tender to provide wide-area network services to the Polish Gas Co., Telecompaper reports, citing Telko.in. The Deutsche Telekom AG unit won with a bid of about 4.9 million Polish zlotys.
* Russian operator Akado Telecom has added film channel O!Cinema to its TV Stars pay-TV package, Telecompaper reports.
MarketWeek: Apple guidance leads to Street panic, though some analysts cite 'cyclicality': Apple's lowering of its revenue forecast for the holiday quarter led several analysts to downgrade the iPhone maker's stock. But other analysts said Apple's innovative edge and strong brand loyalty should help it regain investor confidence.
Data Dispatch: 'Escape Room' expected to be trapped behind holiday holdovers: In a typically slow first weekend of the new year, forecasters expect Columbia Pictures' horror title "Escape Room" to open behind global holiday hit "Aquaman."
Economics of Internet: Phone viewing keeps climbing for YouTube in 2018: YouTube has faced numerous challenges in the U.S. over-the-top video market in recent years but has emerged largely unscathed, with viewing steadily growing throughout 2018.
Global Multichannel: 2019 outlook for Latin American multichannel, broadband marketEconomics of Internet: State of mobile messaging: Consolidation in the mobile messaging space has seen the field narrow in recent years, with Facebook and Tencent dominating the global landscape.
Anne Freier, Sylvia Edwards Davis, Charlotte van Hek and Gerard O'Dwyer contributed to this report.
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