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France rejects 'Google tax;' lender will not buy Telecom Italia stake

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Street Talk Episode 45 - Fed Moving From Rate Hikes To Lower For Longer

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France rejects 'Google tax;' lender will not buy Telecom Italia stake

TOP NEWS

* France's Constitutional Council ruled against the so-called "Google tax," Les Echos reports. The article in the 2017 budget that established taxation of revenue generated by multinationals on their activity in France would need to rely on tax inspections, which are selective by nature and therefore deemed unconstitutional. Google is owned by Alphabet Inc.

* Italian Economy Minister Pier Carlo Padoan said state lender Cassa Depositi e Prestiti will not acquire a stake in Telecom Italia SpA, Reuters reports, citing Il Sole 24 Ore. The comment comes on the heels of Vivendi SA's series of stake increases in Mediaset SpA.

UK AND IRELAND

* The British government launched a public consultation on how it could best use its proposed public funding for extending full fiber-optic and 5G wireless networks across the country. The government will accept responses until Jan. 31, 2017.

* Virgin Media Inc. said its residential customers had an average of about five different internet-ready devices connected to its network on the evening of Dec. 25. Latest figures from the Liberty Global plc unit show that more than 25.7 million gadgets were using its active broadband connections, an increase from the 23.8 million devices connected during the same period in 2015.

GERMANY, SWITZERLAND AND AUSTRIA

* German public broadcasters ARD and ZDF (DE) are looking to get the rights to broadcast the 2018 Paralympic Games, following failed negotiations with Discovery Communications Inc. to broadcast the 2018 Winter Olympics, Infosat reports. Discovery subsidiary Eurosport received the rights to broadcast the Paralympics live in Germany, but ARD and ZDF are eyeing rights for a later broadcast.

* Producers at UFA Fiction want to continue production of a four-part series about the life of a young Adolf Hitler, after commercial TV network RTL (DE) ditched plans after lengthy planning, DWDL reports. UFA Fiction is considering pitching the project as an international co-production to other potential partners.

* German fiber-optic network operator Exaring launched a beta version of Waipu TV for Amazon.com Inc.'s Fire TV, offering commercial yet free-to-air channels without any charge, Golem reports. Beta testing is scheduled to be completed by spring 2017.

FRANCE

* Radio France's generalist station France Inter will cease broadcasting in the long-wave spectrum on Dec. 31 due to high costs, Les Echos reports. Listeners will instead have to tune in to one of 620 FM transmitters that cover 97% of the country.

* In a special promotion offered by Iliad SA's Free to its Freebox TV subscribers, Canal Plus SA channels will be available at no charge and without contract obligation from Jan. 5 to Jan. 8, 2017, Univers Freebox reports.

NETHERLANDS, BELGIUM AND LUXEMBOURG

* Facebook Inc. said there are now 6.2 million monthly active users in Belgium, which is more than half of the country's population of 11.2 million people, De Tijd reports. The social network does not usually disclose country-specific user numbers but made an exception in response to unofficial Facebook user statistics published by a Belgian vlogger.

* The Authority for Consumer and Markets in the Netherlands determined new maximum rates that KPN NV can bill other providers using KPN's fiber-optic network, Telecompaper reports. The new rates were published Dec. 23 and took effect retroactively from Jan. 1.

* Ziggo NV is looking into expanding airtime for Formula One programming on Ziggo Sport, TotaalTV reports. Interest in Formula One in the Netherlands increased considerably in 2016, reportedly due to Dutch driver Max Verstappen.

NORDIC COUNTRIES

* The approximately 450 million Swedish kronor rights issue of Swedish eye-tracking company Tobii AB has been oversubscribed by 96%, DI Digital reports. Tobii is aiming for strong growth and said the fresh capital will be used for investments in technology and market development.

* Finnish telecom operator DNA announced that its total mobile data traffic grew by 76% in 2016, and that the mobile grid carries 18% more data than the fixed broadband network. Most of DNA's mobile data was carried on the 4G network, as 4G data traffic increased by 120%. The company also said that its customers were the world's biggest users of mobile data, as DNA carried 9.9 GB of data per subscription per month during the January-September 2016 period.

* Swedish operator AllTele said that it published the prospectus for trading its new A shares, which is expected to begin on Jan. 5, 2017. The 6.15 million new shares are part of the total purchase price for Telecom3, which AllTele is acquiring, and will be allocated solely to the sellers of Telecom3.

* Swedish internet foundation IIS, which manages top-level domains in Sweden, revealed that the number of registration of .se domains have risen by about 40,000 in 2016 to more than 1.4 million. The registration of .nu domains have also increased by 40,000, to 343,000.

SOUTHERN EUROPE

* Cosmote SA launched mobile internet services with speeds of up to 500 Mbps in Athens, Thessaloniki and other regions across Greece, Telecompaper reports. The increased speeds come after the Greek operator's acquisition of additional spectrum and the implementation of LTE-Advanced technologies on its network.

* PT Portugal expanded its fiber-optic network to the city of Fundao, Telecompaper reports. The service launch is part of the Altice NV unit's plans to provide fiber broadband services to more than 3 million homes and businesses by 2020.

EASTERN EUROPE

* Cyprus-based ER-Telecom Holding Ltd. merged its ER-Telecom Holding unit with regional operator Yaroslavlteleset, Telecompaper reports, citing Comnews.ru. Shares of Yaroslavlteleset will be canceled following the transaction.

* Sberbank and Tele2 Russia's mobile virtual network operator joint venture is now operational, Telecompaper reports, citing Vedomosti. This reportedly allowed Sberbank to save about 25 million Russian rubles in monthly payments to other mobile operators.

* Belarus-based internet service provider IP TelCom acquired fellow ISP AltoLan's data transmission network, Telecompaper reports, citing Providers.by. AltoLan customers will be served by IP TelCom beginning Jan. 1, 2017.

* Russian fixed-line operator TTK wants to launch an MVNO on Tele2 Russia's network, Telecompaper reports, citing Izvestiya. Russian Railways controls TTK.

* Yandex LLC made its mapping service available for Windows 10 smartphones, tablets and PCs, Telecompaper reports, citing Cnews.ru. The app can be downloaded through Microsoft Corp.'s online shop.

The Daily Dose will not appear Jan. 2 due to the observed holiday for New Year's Day in London. The next Dose will be sent out Jan. 3. Please visit our website for the latest news updates, or check us out at www.twitter.com/SNLKagan.

FEATURED NEWS

The Daily Dose Asia-Pacific: LeEco to receive $1.4B infusion; NFL scores China streaming deal: Cash-strapped Chinese tech firm LeEco signed an agreement to get about US$1.4 billion from a strategic investor, while the National Football League entered into a partnership with Sina Weibo to live-stream its games in China.

Briefing Room: 2016's biggest influencers in Asian media, telecommunications: S&P Global Market Intelligence highlights some of the individuals who had an outsized influence on the Asian media and telecommunications landscape in 2016.

Apple, Nokia in legal battle over patents: In this monthly feature, S&P Global Market Intelligence provides a roundup of recent market developments in Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland and Iceland.

Hires and Fires Europe: European Media & Comm moves through Dec. 28: Orange, Eir, Microsoft: S&P Global Market Intelligence presents a biweekly rundown of executive and board changes in the European media and communications industries.

FEATURED RESEARCH

Economics of Internet: CNN, other cablenet sites see mobile video ad-viewing boom: Accurately assessing cross-platform viewership for any digital video site or service remains difficult, but comScore Video Metrix Multi-Platform data that is available for a handful of cable network sites illustrates the need.

Global Multichannel: Global TV Everywhere overview: Eastern Europe: More and more pay TV operators in the Eastern Europe region deploy TV Everywhere services for secondary-screen viewing on multiple connected devices.

Sylvia Edwards Davis, Stefanie Eschenbacher, Koen Pijnappels 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.