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KPN launches VOD service; Google acquires Belarusian AI startup

TOP NEWS

* KPN NV announced the launch of video-on-demand service Museum TV to its 2 million television customers. Museum TV offers mini documentaries of exhibitions and museums throughout the Netherlands.

* Google Inc. acquired Belarus-based AIMatter OOO, the startup behind the Fabby app, which uses artificial intelligence to detect and process images on mobile devices, TechCrunch reports. AIMatter staff will join the Alphabet Inc. unit as part of the deal, the former said. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

UK AND IRELAND

* EE Ltd. announced that it began supporting Amazon.com Inc. Alexa's voice-control feature for its set-top box EE TV. Users of the British Telecom unit's service can ask about show recommendations or to record shows on EE TV via Amazon's Echo or Echo Dot.

* The U.K. Labour Party's shadow culture secretary, Tom Watson, criticized Culture Secretary Karen Bradley for pushing Ofcom to set more quotas for the British Broadcasting Corp.'s radio and TV content, London's The Guardian reports. The move interferes with the independence of Ofcom and BBC, the report said, citing Watson.

* "The Last Post," a six-part series distributed by BBC Worldwide Ltd., will air in the U.S. through Amazon, TBI Vision reports. The series, which is set in the 1960s and focuses on Royal Military Police officers and their families, was produced by Bonafide Films Ltd. and The Forge Entertainment.

GERMANY, SWITZERLAND AND AUSTRIA

* Oberlandesgericht, the German court in Munich, rejected an appeal by ProSiebenSat.1 Media SE, marketing association IP Deutschland and newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung, and declared advertising blocker Adblock Plus as admissible. DWDL reports that the case will now move in front of the Bundesgerichtshof, or the federal court of justice, since a Cologne court had previously ruled differently.

* Swisscom AG has increased its EBITDA outlook to CHF4.3 billion from CHF4.2 billion for 2017. All other outlooks remained the same.

FRANCE

* Iliad is one of the companies that would most profit from the tax reform announced by French President Emmanuel Macron, Univers Freebox reports. The list includes 11 top companies that generate most of their revenue in France and would see their net profit increase by 5% as a result of the proposed decrease in social charges and corporate tax.

* Mediawan, the media special purpose acquisition company spearheaded by Iliad founder and majority shareholder Xavier Niel, added private equity fund Amundi to its list of shareholders, Freenews reports. Amundi, majority owned by Crédit Agricole, holds 5.004% of Mediawan's capital and voting rights.

NETHERLANDS, BELGIUM AND LUXEMBOURG

* Belgian telecom operator Scarlet is close to bankruptcy on the Caribbean islands of Curaçao and Sint Maarten, reports Telecompaper, citing Curaçao media. The 3,000 mainly business customers on the island have had bad or no internet access and employees have not been paid for several months.

NORDIC COUNTRIES

* Swedish mobile infrastructure company Ericsson AB is filing lawsuits against Franco-Chinese smartphone manufacturer Wiko in two regional courts in Germany, alleging patent infringements concerning 2G, 3G and 4G technology, as well as on implementation patents. Wiko is headquartered in France but is majority-owned by Chinese technology group Tinno Mobile, according to Reuters.

* Swedish-founded Spotify Ltd. is planning to sharply increase its advertising income, The Wall Street Journal reports. Spotify marketing head Seth Farbman told the paper that the music-streaming service could become the third-largest advertising player, after Google and Facebook Inc., by making it easier for small and medium-sized businesses to buy ads.

* Consulting giant Deloitte announced that its digital strategy agency Deloitte Digital has acquired Swedish creative agency Acne AB. Executive chairman Victor Press and CEO David Olsson will still lead the team under the Acne name.

* Finnish telecom regulator Ficora said it is taking applications for analogue FM radio broadcasting licenses. The licenses will be granted in 30 regions and be valid until the end of 2019. Ficora has set a Sept. 25 deadline for applications.

SOUTHERN EUROPE

* Canadian software company Espial agreed to provide its DevOps engineering and delivery services to NOS Comunicações SA, in a bid to help the Portugese operator in monetizing its video services, Telecompaper reports.

* Telecom Italia SpA boosted the capacity of its mobile networks in 29 areas across Italy's Sicily region, Telecompaper reports, citing a company statement. The Italian operator installed new mobile antennas to improve 3G and 4G coverage in the localities.

EASTERN EUROPE

* Russian telecom watchdog Roskomnadzor blocked five websites distributing pirated multimedia content, in compliance with a decision by the Moscow City Court, Advanced Television reports. The ruling follows cases filed by Sony Corp.'s Sony Music Entertainment and Examen Publisher.

* Lithuanian copyright holders association Agata sued Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd.'s Vilnius office over nonpayment of royalties for recording and retransmitting songs, films and other copyright-protected content, Telecompaper reports. Agata is seeking €500,000 in compensation from Huawei Vilnius in the case filed with the Vilnius regional court.

* The Moscow Arbitrage Court has voided the decision of Russia's Federal Antimonopoly Service, which earlier said that VEON unit Beeline and Tele2 AB's Tele2 Russia violated competition laws for their allegedly inflated SMS charges, Telecompaper reports, citing Tdaily.ru.

* Member countries of the Eurasian Economic Community are seeking to end roaming charges within up to two years, or by 2019 at the latest, Telecompaper reports, citing Profit.kz. Roaming fees have yet to end in Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Russia.

* Foreign ownership of data traffic exchanges in Russia could be limited to 20% as part of a revised draft of proposed internet laws issued by the country's Ministry of Communications and Mass Media, Telecompaper reports, citing Kommersant.

* The Czech Telecommunication Office launched a one-month consultation on the possibility of regulating the country's wholesale mobile phone market, Reuters reports, citing the regulator.

FEATURED NEWS

Ad Tech Spotlight: The battle against spiraling fraud costs: When concerns over ad fraud forced Procter & Gamble, one of the world's biggest advertisers, to trim its digital budget by up to $140 million, the cutback's minimal impact on results prompted questions about the real value of digital advertising.

US Media & Comm management moves through Aug. 16: Apple, Google, Pandora: S&P Global Market Intelligence presents a weekly rundown of executive changes in the media and communications industries.

Discovery, Olympic Channel ink pan-Euro deal; EU's new OTT rules take effect: In this monthly Eastern Europe Video Spotlight feature, S&P Global Market Intelligence provides a roundup of news related to over-the-top, video-on-demand and other online video initiatives in eastern European markets.

FEATURED RESEARCH

Economics of TV & Film: Disney's 2017 studio numbers down when held up to record 2016 results: Walt Disney's studio entertainment segment is having trouble following up a record performance in 2016.

Anne Freier, Sylvia Edwards Davis, Charlotte van Hek 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.