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Facebook's London recruitment; BBC chief's resignation; A1's 5G rollout

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Facebook's London recruitment; BBC chief's resignation; A1's 5G rollout

TOP NEWS

* Facebook Inc. will hire 1,000 employees in London this year in technology and community integrity roles, amid Britain's impending departure from the European Union, Reuters reports. This will take its total U.K. employees to over 4,000.

* British Broadcasting Corp. Director General Tony Hall is stepping down in the summer after being in the role for seven years. BBC Chairman David Clementi said the company will start its search for a new director general in the coming weeks.

* A1 Telekom Austria AG is rolling out its 5G network across 350 locations in 129 municipalities across Austria, ORF reports. The Austrian operator plans to cover large areas of rural land with its network until 2023.

UK AND IRELAND

* The BBC and ITV PLC's streaming joint venture BritBox struck a content deal with producer-distributor DRG, Rapid TV News reports. The deal covers comedy series "Detectorists," satirical sketch series "Tracey Ullman's Show," comedy-drama "Babylon" and Synchronicity Films' "The Cry," among others.

* Glasgow-based independent producer Two Rivers Media Ltd. bought out Kew Media Group Inc.'s stake in the company for an undisclosed sum, TBI Vision reports. The transaction came days after Kew Media received a default notice from the company's lenders for its senior credit facilities.

* Venture capital firm ACT Venture Capital Ltd. invested more than €11 million of funding in Irish mobility solutions provider Cubic Telecom Ltd., Dublin's The Irish Times reports.

* British multichannel broadcaster UKTV, through its investment arm UKTV Ventures, made an investment in online car repair marketplace startup Clickmechanic.com. The deal involves £1 million of commercial airtime for Clickmechanic.com across UKTV's channel roster.

* The Infrastructure Commission for Scotland recommended the rollout of a full-fiber broadband network for Scotland by 2027, as part of a 30-year infrastructure strategy. Fiber network operator CityFibre Infrastructure Holdings Ltd. welcomed the proposal.

* U.K. Culture Secretary Nicky Morgan selected Rhodri Williams as the preferred candidate for the role of chair at Welsh public broadcaster S4C. Williams most recently served as director in Wales for British media and telecom regulator Ofcom.

GERMANY, SWITZERLAND AND AUSTRIA

* German publisher Axel Springer SE and media group Funke Mediengruppe GmbH & Co. KGaA will end their marketing joint venture on Aug. 31. The companies agreed to focus on their respective marketing strategies after five years of collaboration.

* German software startup scoutbee GmbH secured €54 million in a new financing round, Main-Post reports. Its investors include Atomico, Lakestar, Siemens subsidiary Next47 and HV Holtzbrinck Ventures.

* German publisher Spiegel named Christoph Seeger as the new head of content for its marketing unit Spiegel Media. The company plans to expand its service for publishing clients with Seeger on board.

FRANCE

* Communications equipment company Ericsson will establish a new research and development site in France early this year to facilitate 5G connectivity in Europe. The Swedish company said the new site will host up to 300 employees and will focus at first on 5G development and security.

* Omnes Capital SAS closed the primary management buyout of Opportunity, a software-as-a-service platform for customer interaction management. The transaction represents a spinoff of Opportunity from parent Vocalcom Group, in which Apax Partners SAS holds a majority stake.

* The French antitrust watchdog approved plans by Iliad SA founder Xavier Niel to take a controlling stake in the Nice Matin SA newspaper group, Reuters reports. Niel's holding company NJJ owns stakes in Le Monde and magazine L'Obs.

NETHERLANDS, BELGIUM AND LUXEMBOURG

* The Flemish government ousted VRT CEO Paul Lembrechts over an alleged breach of trust at the Flemish public broadcaster, NRC reports. Leo Hellemans, who previously served as interim CEO, will return to the role during the "cooling-off period."

* Radiation from 5G test set-ups in the Netherlands is below European limits, NOS reports, citing a report from the Radiocommunications Agency Netherlands. The agency's report was prepared in collaboration with the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment.

* The Dutch municipalities of Amsterdam and Rotterdam resumed their access to the Citrix system for work-from-home purposes, RTL Z reports. The municipalities deactivated access after the Dutch National Cyber Security Center said using the Citrix system could compromise data security.

NORDIC COUNTRIES

* Finland will roll out a new state-supported scheme in 2021 for the construction of broadband networks, according to the country's transport and communications ministry. The new program is a continuation of a similar initiative launched in 2010.

* Internetstiftelsen i Sverige paid 30 million Swedish kronor to acquire data management firm MetaSolutions AB, Di Digital reports. Internetstiftelsen is an independent public service advisory organization that is responsible for Sweden's country code top-level internet domain .se.

* Fullrate A/S will be fully merged into YouSee A/S, Computerworld.dk reports. Danish operator TDC A/S owns the two digital TV and broadband operators.

SOUTHERN EUROPE

* Global media company SPI International Inc./FilmBox renewed and extended its partnership with Turkish digital broadcasting service D-Smart, with two additional years of broadcast rights for the FilmBox, FightBox, Fast&FunBox and DocuBox channels. These channels, alongside selected video-on-demand content, will be available for livestreaming on D-Smart's over-the-top platform D-Smart GO.

* Amazon.com Inc.'s streaming service Amazon Prime Video is now live on operator Vodafone Portugal's latest generation set-top boxes, Telecompaper reports, citing Economia Online.

* Italian telecom infrastructure company Retelit SpA agreed to fully acquire Bolzano-based ICT and telecom operator Brennercom SpA for around €52 million from the Athesia Group, with the deal price based on an enterprise value of around €65 million. The transaction is expected to close latest by July 31.

* Italian ICT company IRIDEOS SpA secured around €150 million in financing from a pool of banks for its new business plan, according to Telecompaper, citing a company statement. The company will start implementing its five-year industrial plan after acquiring several small and medium-sized ICT operators.

EASTERN EUROPE

* Cable group Supernova will report a breach of market conditions to the Serbian Competition Commission and push for the return of United Media channels to its network, according to Broadband TV News, citing B92. Supernova is made up of cable operators Radijus Vektor doo, Kopernikus Technology doo, MASKO doo, Telemark Systems doo and AVcom doo.

* Bulgarian operator Vivacom partnered with GE-TV to distribute international Russian channels including TNT Russia, TV-3 International, Friday! International and TNT 4, Broadband TV News reports.

* Polish cable operator Netia SA acquired a data center used by Onet.pl SA in Krakow from Ringier Axel Springer Media AG, Telecompaper reports, citing Puls Biznesu. The financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

* Russia's ER-Telecom JSC merged with unit 5G Wi-Fi, Telecompaper reports, citing Cnews.ru.

* Russian investment company GS Group rolled out a new set-top box, the GS C593, available for customers of satellite TV operator Tricolor TV, Telecompaper reports, citing Tdaily.ru.

FEATURED NEWS

M&A Replay: Google to buy retail tech company; UK clears Hasbro/Entertainment One deal: Search engine Google LLC will acquire Irish retail tech company Pointy, while the U.K. antitrust watchdog approved Hasbro Inc.'s acquisition of Canadian media company Entertainment One Ltd.

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

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