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Samsung to buy Spanish network analytics firm; Spotify invests in DistroKid

TOP NEWS

* Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. will acquire Barcelona-based Zhilabs SL, a provider of artificial intelligence-powered network analytics, for an undisclosed amount. The South Korean conglomerate said the acquisition will help improve its 5G offerings of automation and network analytics.

* Spotify Technology SA has made a "passive minority investment" in digital music distribution platform DistroKid. The music-streaming company plans to introduce an improved version of Spotify for Artists by leveraging its partnership with DistroKid.

PAN-EUROPEAN

* HBO Europe has acquired StudioCanal's crime drama "ZeroZeroZero," which it intends to distribute in central and eastern Europe and the Nordics, TBI Vision reports. The series is in production and will be shot in six languages.

* The European Commission granted regulatory clearance to create network equipment entity Shanghai Huaxin Juniper Networks Co. Ltd., a joint venture between China Huaxin Post and Telecom Technologies Co. Ltd. and Juniper Networks Inc. unit Juniper Networks International BV.

UK AND IRELAND

* Eleven Sports Network Ltd. will halt soccer broadcasts during the Saturday afternoon blackout period in the U.K. "out of respect for the wishes of our partners," Reuters reports, citing a statement. The sports broadcaster cited piracy concerns during the blackout period as the reason for the temporary suspension.

* GINX eSports TV has terminated its contract with Virgin Media Inc., which will result in the British gaming channel's removal from the Virgin Media TV lineup from Oct. 22. Channel CEO Michiel Bakker claimed the Liberty Global PLC unit did not honor its previous intention to launch GINX eSports TV in HD.

* BBC Studios has struck a format deal for its entertainment show"Stupid Man, Smart Phone" with Singaporean media conglomerate MediaCorp Pte. Ltd. The British Broadcasting Corp. unit also sold format licenses for "No Kitchen Required" to Quest Arabiya and "Astronauts: Toughest Job in the Universe" to Dubai Media Inc.

* U.S. authorities have slapped a $516 million fine on Western Digital Corp. over allegations that the data storage company used its Irish subsidiaries in its global tax planning strategy, Dublin's The Irish Times reports. Western Digital is set to challenge the decision.

GERMANY, SWITZERLAND AND AUSTRIA

* Following the agreement on a broadcasting state treaty between private and public broadcasters as well as German counties, media politicians have demanded further reforms such as for public broadcasters ARD and ZDF (DE) to bundle their information channels and reduce spending on sports broadcasts, Meedia reports.

* German internet of things company Smartfrog Services GmbH is acquiring a controlling majority stake in U.S. IoT pioneer Canary. The former will also invest $25 million in corporate growth with Canary's existing lead investors.

FRANCE

* France-headquartered market research and consulting firm Ipsos has completed an agreement to acquire Market Pulse International Ltd.'s mystery shopping staff, shoppers and clients. Market Pulse International has operated in Asia-Pacific for more than two decades, offering mystery shopping and retail auditing services.

* French telecom regulator ARCEP has published the results of its 19th annual survey that assesses the quality of service of metropolitan mobile operators. The report confirms that more than 1 million measurements in 2G, 3G and 4G networks were carried out throughout the country.

* Bernard Majani is stepping down as director of acquisitions at Groupe M6, effective Dec. 21. Bérengère Terouanne will head the company's acquisitions department following Majani's departure.

* European culture TV channel ARTE has launched a platform named ARTE in italiano, which will be available on arte.tv/it and via smartphones, tablets and connected TV applications, as well as on tivùon! from tivùsat. This will complement ARTE's multilingual offer, already available in English, Spanish, Polish, French and German.

NETHERLANDS, BELGIUM AND LUXEMBOURG

* KPN NV has delayed the rollout of the new broadcasting standard for the Digitenne service, its network for digital radio and television, Mediamagazine reports. The provider has currently switched the provinces of Groningen and Drente from DVB-T to DBV-T2 to increase broadcasting quality, yet will not live up to the initial plans to do the rest of the Netherlands by April 2019. KPN is yet to confirm a date of completion.

* Intelsat SA has teamed up with African satellite network provider Q-Kon Pty. Ltd. to roll out high-speed broadband services for smaller businesses across the sub-Saharan region.

* Dutch technology company ASML Holding NV has reported strong third-quarter growth, with net sales of €2.78 billion, net income of €680 million and a gross margin of 48.1%. The manufacturer of chip machines is expecting net sales of about €3 billion and a gross margin of around 48% for the last quarter of 2018.

NORDIC COUNTRIES

* TDC A/S has reached an agreement to acquire local broadband services provider Hiper A/S. The acquisition does not require regulatory clearance. Hiper's owners had been looking to sell the company for several months.

* Swedish tech investor Håkan Roos has bought more than 400,000 shares in Smart Eye AB, Di Digital reports. Roos participated in the eye-tracking tech firm's directed share issue in September.

* Turtle Entertainment GmbH, an e-sports company that manages the ESL brand, has appointed Thomas Schmidt to its board of directors, said parent company Modern Times Group AB. Sports media specialist Schmidt is a former CEO of T.E.A.M. Marketing AG.

* Danish telco Hi3G Denmark ApS, which operates as 3 Danmark, said it added 6,000 customers during the third quarter. The result increased the telco's customer base to 1.31 million. The telco also reported revenues of 691 million Danish kroner in Q3.

SOUTHERN EUROPE

* Altice Portugal is in talks with two banks in relation to the company's plan to expand into offering financial services, Reuters reports, citing CEO Alexandre Fonseca. The Altice Europe unit's executive said the plan could take place in 2019.

* EOLO SpA will provide new customers with nine months of free access to DAZN's content, Telecompaper reports. The additional content is formed under an agreement between the Italian fixed wireless broadband company and DAZN's parent company Perform Group Ltd.

* Telefónica SA's Movistar+ is adding a new Ultra HD channel called Movistar Formula 1 4K, Advanced Television reports. The Movistar Formula channel is the third 4K channel added in the pay TV platform's line-up. The company eyes adding more 4K content.

* Portugal will begin developing new submarine cables in 2019, which will connect the country's autonomous regions, Telecompaper reports, citing Jornal de Negocios. The plan has been included in the 2019 state budget; however, funds for the intended project have not been designated yet.

* Vodafone España SAU has been hit with a €1.87 million fine in relation to a 2013 case over "excessive roaming charges," Telecompaper reports, citing El País. The fine was imposed on the Vodafone Group PLC unit in relation to damage inflicted to about 150,000 customers.

EASTERN EUROPE

* BBC Studios has sold distribution rights to its "Greats" interactive format to Slovakia's RTVS, TBI Vision reports. The Slovak broadcaster eyes a January 2019 premiere for "The Greatest Slovak."

* The council of Slovenian telecom regulator Akos is seeking the dismissal of its managing director, Tanja Muhl, for misleading the council in relation to giving a 5G test license to BTC, Telecompaper reports. Muja denied any legal grounds for the dismissal, saying she was not given an opportunity to respond to the allegations.

* Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. and the Skolkovo fund have agreed to develop a research and development center at the Skolkovo technology park in Moscow, Russia, Telecompaper reports, citing Cnews.ru.

FEATURED NEWS

Q&A: Private equity firm with Disney roots mines media disruption for opportunities: Disruption among media stalwarts and a race to scale is driving opportunity for investors in the media and technology industries, two partners at private equity firm Shamrock Capital told S&P Global Market Intelligence.

FEATURED RESEARCH

Global Multichannel: Latin America group profiles: AT&T profitability improved but remains low: AT&T's profitability in Latin America improved as DIRECTV Latin America revenues recovered and Mexico mobile revenues grew, but multichannel results are still below DIRECTV Latin America's in 2014, and risks from economic shocks are on the horizon.

Anne Freier, Amanda Kelly, Charlotte van Hek and Gerard O'Dwyer contributed to this report.

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