* Netflix Inc. is planning to open offices in Paris and Berlin, TBI Vision reports. Lucas Schmidt from Germany's ZDF (DE) will join the streamer's originals team there, while in France it appointed Jimmy Desmarais, co-managing director of Lagardère Studios' Atlantique Productions, as international originals manager. Lagardère SCA owns Lagardère Studios.
* Spotify Technology SA will use the Nordic market as a testbed for a more expensive version of its music streaming service, Bloomberg News reports, citing sources. Spotify will raise the price of its family plan by around 13%.
* Walt Disney Co. hired Luke Bradley-Jones to manage its streaming service Disney+ upon its launch in Europe and Africa, effective early 2020, Advanced Television reports. He is joining Disney from Comcast Corp. unit Sky Ltd., where he was chief marketing officer.
UK AND IRELAND
* Irish operators Virgin Media Ireland and eir struck a deal to broadcast their key sports channels on their respective TV platforms, ahead of the upcoming Rugby World Cup and UEFA soccer matches.
* Accenture PLC agreed to acquire Analytics8, a privately held big data and analytics consultancy in Australia, for an undisclosed amount. Analytics8 specializes in data management, reporting and visualization, data science and analytics services.
* U.K. investment firm Graphite Capital Management LLP completed the acquisition of Hanson Wade Ltd., which provides conference organizing services, in a management-led buyout.
* Viacom Inc.-owned Channel 5 (UK) commissioned documentary series "World's Greatest Warships," TBI Vision reports. The program, which will air later in 2019, was commissioned from Banijay Group unit IWC.
GERMANY, SWITZERLAND AND AUSTRIA
* German internet provider Drillisch AG and its parent United Internet AG lowered their forecasts for full-year 2019, reports Reuters. Regulatory and 5G rollout costs are likely impacting results, the report said.
* German publisher Bastei Lübbe AG presented its interim report for the first months for the financial year 2019/2020. The company generated sales of €21.2 million between April and June. Consolidated earnings before interest and taxes rose to €1.5 million.
* Public network Losange Fibre announced via Twitter that Orange SA, Iliad SA's Free, and Bouygues Telecom SA have agreed to provide fiber internet on the network. The launch dates in the Grand Est region of France will depend on the schedule of each operator.
* U.S. hedge fund AQR Capital Management still held 2.68% of Iliad's capital in a short position as of Aug. 13, Boursier.com reports. This short position was slightly reduced from 2.99% at the end of May.
NETHERLANDS, BELGIUM and LUXEMBOURG
* Dutch cable operator Ziggo NV has solved a week-long malfunction causing problems in the three Alkmaar regions Driehuizen, De Woude, and Zuidschermer, reports Het Noord-Hollands Dagblad. The malfunction, which was caused by a broken cable, resulted in many customers in the region not having access to TV, internet, and telephony.
* Internet service provider Fieber has started offering WhatsApp for businesses, which will allow companies to use a dedicated phone number and input standard answers to customer questions, reports Telecompaper.
* TDC A/S has named Mads Hein as the new CEO of its broadband subsidiary Hiper A/S, reports Computerworld.dk. Hein replaces Stig Myken, who also co-founded Hiper. TDC recently acquired Hiper from Myken and his co-founding partner Nicolai Lamborg.
* Portuguese company Cofina Media SGPS SA is considering an acquisition of Media Capital and is currently in talks with its parent company, Promotora de Informaciones SA, Advanced Television reports, citing Expresso. The parties have reportedly signed an exclusivity agreement.
* Swisscom AG's Italian unit Fastweb SpA reported €1.05 billion in revenues for the first half of 2019. The company added about 100,000 new customers, bringing its total to 2.6 million.
* ITI Neovision, which operates Polish direct-to-home platform nc+, agreed to acquire a 70% stake in film distributor Kino Świat for an undisclosed amount, Broadband TV News reports. The deal will allow nc+ to distribute Kino Świat's content.
* Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. plans to launch a mapping service, to be called Map Kit, in October, Telecompaper reports, citing Tdaily.ru. The Chinese company is teaming up with Russia's Yandex NV and U.S.-headquartered Booking Holdings Inc. to develop the application.
* VEON's Russian operator Beeline has entered into a three-year partnership with CJSC Metrocom to develop projects using virtual reality and augmented reality, as well as the internet of things, through 5G technologies, Telecompaper reports.
The Program Guide: 'The Crown' season 3 gets premiere date; HBO Max, BBC Three order 'Starstruck': Netflix has set a premiere date for the third season of "The Crown," while AT&T's upcoming streaming service HBO Max and BBC Three have commissioned a six-part comedy "Starstruck."
Hires and Fires Europe: Disney hires Sky executive; Mediapro names chief of French unit: Disney hired Sky executive Luke Bradley-Jones to run its streaming service Disney+ in Europe and Africa, while Spanish broadcaster Mediapro appointed Julien Bergeaud director general of its French unit.
Wireless Investor: Kenya poised to shrink to 2 national players; Safaricom taps Huawei for 5G: Airtel Kenya's acquisition of Telkom Kenya — which will operate post-merger as Airtel-Telkom — would have, even pro forma, just one-third of subscriber market share, with the balance belonging to industry giant Safaricom.
Global Multichannel: Viacom prepares international rollout of Pluto TV: Viacom plans to roll out ad-supported video-on-demand platform Pluto TV in key markets outside the U.S. to extend its global presence.
Anne Freier, Sylvia Edwards Davis, Charlotte van Hek and Gerard O'Dwyer contributed to this report.
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