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Google revamps licensing model in EU; Netflix to make TV series in Spain

TOP NEWS

* Google LLC announced that effective Oct. 29, it will implement a new paid licensing agreement for smartphones and tablets shipped into the European Economic Area, as one of the Alphabet Inc. unit's move to comply with the European Union's competition decision on Android. The tech company will also begin to offer separate licenses to the Google Search app and to Chrome.

* Netflix Inc.'s vice president of international content, Erik Barmack, confirmed that the streaming giant will produce between 10 and 12 TV series in Spain annually, Advanced Television reports.

PAN-EUROPEAN

* The European Commission has sought the opinion of Sony Corp.'s rivals in relation to the Japanese company's proposed acquisition of EMI Music Publishing, Reuters reports. The commission asked, through a questionnaire, whether the rivals think Sony will use its influence to get better deals and if it is likely for the company to favor publishing over recording deals.

UK AND IRELAND

* Former Channel 4 (UK) Commissioner Lucy Leveugle is joining Netflix's unscripted content team, TBI Vision reports. Leveugle will be based in London and will be in charge of unscripted content in the Europe, Middle East and Africa region.

* British Broadcasting Corp. unit BBC Studios has launched a new content label dubbed TalentWorks, which will focus on identifying talents to partner on producing innovative new content.

* Infront Italy, an agent of Italian soccer league Serie A, has secured a court order freezing several assets of Ireland-based media firm Media Partners and Silva, Dublin's The Irish Times reports. The order came in relation to a dispute over Media Partners and Silva's non-payment of fees for broadcast rights to show Serie A games.

* Advertising giant WPP PLC is in advanced talks to acquire the headquarters of business daily Financial Times in London's South Bank area for £93 million, The Daily Telegraph reports. The FT is reportedly planning to relocate to its Bracken House headquarters in the City of London.

* Nippon Telegraph & Telephone Corp. unit NTT Communications Corp. said it will develop a new data center campus in Dagenham, East London, through its e-shelter unit. Construction for the planned facility, which is anticipated to be capable of up to 24,000 square meters of IT space, is expected to begin in November.

* BBC Studios also named Fiona Campbell to be the head of its documentary unit, replacing Aysha Rafaele who will have her own Factual Drama Hub within the BBC unit. Fiona is the digital director at BBC News.

* Phil Jordan has been selected to join as an independent nonexecutive director at TalkTalk Telecom Group PLC's board, according to an announcement. Jordan's appointment is effective immediately.

GERMANY, SWITZERLAND AND AUSTRIA

* Germany's Federal Cartel Office, or the Bundeskartellamt, is investigating whether the cooperation on the broadcast of UEFA Champions League games between Sky PLC unit Sky Deutschland GmbH and Perform Group Ltd., owner of streaming service DAZN, is compliant with antitrust laws.

* German children's TV channel Kika has launched Kika Player, an app for its content library, DWDL reports.

FRANCE

* Franck Riester has been appointed France's minister of culture, replacing Françoise Nyssen, RTL reports.

* France Télévisions Publicité SA announced new advertising developments that go beyond pre-roll and mid-roll formats, adjusting, in particular, its digital advertising to engage younger audiences.

* Ubisoft Entertainment SA has appointed Frédérick Duguet CFO, effective Jan. 1, 2019. Duguet replaces Alain Martinez, who is set to retire at the end of 2018.

* The So Press media group is launching L'Étiquette, a new magazine distributed twice per year in October and February, CB News reports. Managed by Marc Beaugé, it will focus on men's fashion and style.

NETHERLANDS, BELGIUM AND LUXEMBOURG

* Intelsat SA has invested an undisclosed amount in Africa Mobile Networks Ltd. to boost the deployment of mobile connectivity in various unserved areas in sub-Saharan Africa, according to a news release. The agreement also allows AMN to use the Intelsat EpicNG high-throughput satellites, as well as the 23 Intelsat satellites in the region, to help with the operator's planned mobile networks deployment.

* Netherlands-based digital security company Gemalto NV said it has received regulatory clearance from the Competition Commission in South Africa for its takeover by French company Thales SA. Together with the antitrust clearances obtained in China, Israel and Turkey, and clearances relating to foreign investments in Australia, Canada and the U.S., Thales and Gemalto have now obtained seven of the required 14 clearances.

* Dutch technology company Koning & Hartman BV has been awarded a European tender for the provision of a telephony system to the central control room of the Dutch city of Utrecht. A five-year maintenance contract has also been agreed.

NORDIC COUNTRIES

* Fingerprint Cards AB has struck a new distribution deal with Singapore-based Excelpoint Systems Pte. Ltd. The collaboration is primarily intended to bolster FPC's ability to develop additional channels into smartphone sales in India.

* Brazilian power distributor Elektro Redes SA has contracted Nokia Corp. to deliver a private LTE network to the city of Atibaia. The network is intended to improve the reliability and efficiency of the electrical grid in Atibaia and adjacent areas within São Paulo state.

SOUTHERN EUROPE

* Spanish broadcaster Mediapro and VICE Media LLC unit Vice Studios have agreed to jointly develop and produce original scripted TV series, Variety reports. The companies' first project is titled "Border Republic," which will commence production in 2019.

* SPI International Inc./Filmbox is introducing a new high-definition channel dedicated to Turkish drama series and movies, Broadband TV News reports. The Timeless Drama Channel will be available on direct-to-home platforms, cable networks, smart phones and smart TVs, as well as via other global over-the-top platforms.

* Swisscom AG is eyeing either to sell or partner up its Italian unit Fastweb SpA, in an intention to raise the company's market share, Bloomberg News reports, citing sources. Swisscom had talks with Wind Tre SpA, but the CK Hutchison Holdings Ltd. unit is not looking to enter into a deal, three of the sources said.

EASTERN EUROPE

* Polish broadcaster Telewizja Polsat has introduced its new eSports channel named Polsat Games, Broadband TV News reports. The channel has been available to the Mini HD subscribers of Cyfrowy Polsat SA since Oct. 15.

* Rostelecom PJSC has launched a pay TV service, dubbed Wink, in Russia's Siberia region, Telecompaper reports. The platform offers about 200 TV channels and about 12,000 films and series. Wink can be accessed through apps on mobile phones and smart TVs, as well as through the online portal.

* Russian operator ER-Telecom, doing business as Dom.ru, has reorganized its corporate structure and put up a new unit, to be led by COO Alexander Motrich, that will be responsible for customer service, sales and coordination of branch activities, Telecompaper reports. A new retail product management and marketing unit has also been developed and will be led by Chief Marketing Officer Andrey Chazov.

FEATURED RESEARCH

Multichannel Trends: Broadband reaches maturity in top markets, with cable increasing its share: Telco tops cable in only two of the top 10 markets, according to MediaCensus' second-quarter broadband subscriber data.

RECENT EARNINGS

Netflix Q3 earnings, subscriber beat comes at cost, competition: Netflix executives on an earnings webcast unpacked a big upside surprise to third-quarter guidance, but also discussed the impact from cash burn and increased competition.

Advertising giant Omnicom sees share gains after Q3 EPS beat: Omnicom Group's stock had gained over 5% as of midday Oct. 16 after the company beat consensus earnings per share expectations during a quarter that saw a number of changes to its advertising agency portfolio.

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

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