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Trinity Mirror, Express merger faces objections; M7 Group buys Dutch ISPs

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Trinity Mirror, Express merger faces objections; M7 Group buys Dutch ISPs

TOP NEWS

* A proposed £130 million merger between British publishers Trinity Mirror plc and Express Newspapers could face an objection from both sides' pension trustees, who are skeptical over the terms of the deal, London's The Daily Telegraph reports, citing sources. Trinity Mirror is anticipated to pay about £60 million in cash and about £30 million in new shares, with the £40 million balance to be paid over three years. The price and structure of the deal, however, is not yet final.

* M7 Group SA has taken over Dutch service providers Stipte BV and Fiber Nederland BV for an undisclosed amount, reports Telecompaper. The acquisition will have no impact on the providers' customers.

UK AND IRELAND

* Rupert Murdoch's publishing arm News Corp UK & Ireland admitted its participation in hacking former British Army intelligence officer Ian Hurst's computer, Bloomberg News reports. The admission is part of a settlement of a lawsuit in London, wherein the company agreed to pay damages to Hurst.

* Suzy Lamb has been appointed genre director of the entertainment and music segment of BBC Studios. Lamb, who is head of entertainment at FremantleMedia UK's Thames TV, will oversee the creative, commercial and operational strategy of the British Broadcasting Corp. unit.

* Zegona Communications plc has tendered a total of 69,825,511 shares, representing 99.8% of the shares available for tender. The shares are expected to be acquired Oct. 9 at £2 per share, for a total cost of about £139.7 million.

* Ofcom is planning to require internet providers to be more transparent with customers in terms of their services' speed ranges. The British regulator is looking to make necessary changes to the existing codes of practice.

GERMANY, SWITZERLAND AND AUSTRIA

* M7 Group is expanding its channel portfolio to include ProSieben Fun HD as well as Sport1 US HD in the pay TV platform's FamilyHD package beginning October. Sky's Heimatkanal will also be included four weeks later.

* Axel Springer SE has confirmed the suspension of youth digital magazine BYou, reports DWDL. Focus has been shifted to Noizz, a joint venture between the Bild tabloid and Ringier Axel Springer Media AG.

* Netflix Inc. increased its prices in Germany; new customers will pay €10.99 monthly instead of €9.99 for a standard subscription, Netzwelt reports. The company confirmed the price increase to Caschys Blog, saying the increase is in line with the platform's growing offering.

FRANCE

* Vivendi SA's Canal Plus Group SA reached an agreement with French authors and composers association SACEM to end the dispute over "several tens of millions of euros" in unpaid royalties, Les Echos reports. Canal Plus said it will pay outstanding royalties for 2017 and that a new two-year agreement has been negotiated, which will start by January 2018.

* Forbes launched in France with a cover price of €9, Pure Médias reports. About 100,000 copies of the first quarterly issue were distributed: 50,000 in newsstands and 50,000 in freemium format in conferences, business lounges and luxury hotels.

* Bouygues Telecom SA unveiled its 4G mobile signal booster trucks, Univers Freebox reports. The B-Truck 4G will be deployed to locations experiencing temporary peaks in usage.

* French telecoms regulator ARCEP launched a public consultation on possible tariff reductions in 2018, currently being paid by Bouygues Telecom, Iliad's Free and Altice NV's SFR to access Orange SA's copper telephone wire network. The proposal was made in the context of significant investments required in the transition to very-high-speed broadband.

NETHERLANDS, BELGIUM AND LUXEMBOURG

* T-Mobile Netherlands, BAM Infra and sensor developer Nowi have launched a pilot on digital asset management, which enables maintenance to be performed on the basis of data analysis. To indicate where the maintenance should take place, the pilot will use the new internet of things network from the Deutsche Telekom AG unit.

* The Dutch data protection authority, or AP, has objected to the publicly funded pilot from several companies wherein personal details from defaulters can be exchanged, reports FD. The pilot violates the right to privacy and companies must consult the AP before exchanging customers' personal details, the authority said.

NORDIC COUNTRIES

* Spotify AB is being accused of trying to stop a research project that charts how the streaming service's algorithms work, Computer Sweden reports. Spotify claimed the Streaming Heritage project, conducted by researchers at the University of Umeå, used "unrighteous practices," and asked the Swedish Research Council to rectify it. The researchers said they considered the move to be an attempt to close down the project and a threat to free research.

* Nordic public broadcasting companies have entered a collaboration which they say will give more cooperation on drama productions, Denmark public broadcaster DR said. The Danish broadcaster, Norway's NRK, Icelandic RUV, Swedish SVT and Finlands YLE have agreed on the common strategy as an action against international competition.

* The Danish government has decided to allow the country's municipalities and regions to apply for European Union funds to establish free public Wi-Fi, Berlingske Business reports. Denmark's telecom and internet companies object, as they say it distorts competition. Only places that do not have private or public networks in place are eligible to apply for funds through the WiFi4EU scheme.

* The Norwegian Ministry of Transport and Communication has appointed Elisabeth Aarsæther as new director of the National Communications Authority, or Nkom, according to a press release. Aarsæther, currently deputy director, will replace Torstein Olsen.

* Swedish eye tracking company Smart Eye AB has appointed Anders Lyrheden as CFO. Lyrheden has been acting CFO since August, and replaces Ulrika Drotz Molin.

SOUTHERN EUROPE

* Vodafone Portugal's recent network-sharing deal with NOS only covers continental Portugal and does not include the Madeira and Azores islands, Telecompaper reports, citing Diario de Noticias. A spokesperson for the Vodafone Group Plc unit cited prevailing market conditions for not extending the telco's network to the two archipelagos.

* Spain's Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport is launching "Don't Steal Your Future," an anti-content piracy awareness campaign in line with government efforts to fight the infringement of intellectual property rights, Advanced Television reports. Broadcasters Atresmedia and Mediapro, Telefónica SA's Movistar+, Orange España and Vodafone España SAU are among the companies supporting the campaign.

EASTERN EUROPE

* Latvian mobile operator LMT began a 5G partnership with network equipment company MikroTik, Telecompaper reports, citing Db.lv. As part of the deal, the companies rolled out a 10-Gbps wireless data link to LMT's 5G base station, enabling MikroTik to design 5G-ready equipment.

* Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree designating national operator Rostelecom PJSC as the only fixed telecom services provider for state institutions, beginning in 2018, Telecompaper reports, citing Tdaily.ru.

* Montenegrin operator m:tel opened what is touted as the country's first ICT hub in the capital city of Podgorica, Telecompaper reports, citing Vijesti. The facility is expected to help developers come up with ideas and create advanced digital services.

* Telekom Slovenije's supervisory board is extending the term of Tomaz Seljak, vice president of the telco's management board and board member for technology, by another four years, beginning May 1, 2018, Telecompaper reports. The supervisory board also reappointed Robert Erzin as director of the telco's Kosovo-based unit IPKO Telecommunications LLC

FEATURED NEWS

MarketWeek: Analysts weigh Netflix price hike as media stocks climb: Netflix announced an increase in its monthly subscription price, and analysts weighed the significance of the move with a similar 2015 hike and recent subscriber and stock momentum.

FEATURED RESEARCH

Wireless Investor: South Africa's telecom market faces regulatory, spectrum hiccups: Subscriptions using 4G jumped 78% in 2016, but overall use of the standard in South Africa is still fairly low due to scarce spectrum and a cumbersome regulatory environment.

Anne Freier, Sylvia Edwards Davis, 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.