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Google appeals against EC's €1.49B fine; SPI, Salt Mobile sign distribution deal

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Google appeals against EC's €1.49B fine; SPI, Salt Mobile sign distribution deal

TOP NEWS

* Google LLC filed an appeal against an estimated €1.49 billion fine imposed by the European Commission over its advertising practices, London's The Daily Telegraph reports. However, the Alphabet Inc. unit is set to face new regulatory hurdles as a number of campaigning groups have filed complaints with regulators of several European Union countries over the company's way of handling data in online advertising, Reuters reports. The complaints were filed in France, Germany, Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Italy and Slovenia.

* Spi International Inc./FilmBox will extend the reach of four of its channels in Switzerland through a distribution deal with Salt Mobile SA. Salt TV will carry SPI/FilmBox channels FunBox UHD, Fast&FunBox HD, Gametoon HD and FightBox HD.

PAN-EUROPEAN

* Facebook Inc. may be called on to remove duplicates of illegal content worldwide, according to the published opinion of Advocate General Maciej Szpunar. The statement is in relation to a case filed by former Austria National Council member Eva Glawischnig-Piesczek, which caused the social media company to remove the defamatory content in Austria.

UK AND IRELAND

* U.S. President Donald Trump expressed confidence that the government would have an agreement with the U.K. in relation to the use of Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. equipment, Reuters reports. Trump dismissed any hint of a halt in intelligence sharing with the U.K. if an agreement was not reached.

* In related news, the British government has not yet made a final decision on whether or not it would use equipment from Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd., Reuters reports, citing U.K. Minister of State for Security Ben Wallace's interview with BBC Radio. Meanwhile, Tory candidate Matt Hancock said that the U.K. must strengthen its capacities in communications and technology to avoid dependence on foreign companies, London's The Daily Telegraph reports.

* Tencent Holdings Ltd. is leading a $40 million funding round for TrueLayer Ltd., a London-based financial technology startup, The Times reported, citing sources. Other potential backers include Singapore's sovereign wealth fund Temasek Holdings (Pte.) Ltd.

GERMANY, SWITZERLAND AND AUSTRIA

* European TV streaming provider Zattoo Europa AG is including access to Sky Deutschland GmbH's channel portfolio on its German IPTV platform, Digital TV Europe reports. Sky Deutschland is a unit of Sky PLC.

* German journalist's association Deutsche Journalisten-Verband has voiced job stability concerns over KKR & Co.'s potential acquisition of stakes in Axel Springer SE.

* German public broadcaster WDR said it has partnered with research organization Fraunhofer IIS to test how TV audio can be optimized. The MPEG-H audio format developed by Fraunhofer IIS will be used for the test phase.

* Insight TV, a 4K UHD HDR channel which produces native UHD content, is now officially available on Sky Deutschland's pay TV platform.

FRANCE

* Altice France SA said that SFR signed an agreement for the deployment of fiber with the Departmental Council of Seine-Saint-Denis and the Ile-de-France Region, connecting nearly 140,000 homes and businesses to the fiber network. Altice Europe owns Altice France.

* Radio France Internationale SA's former CEO, Mathieu Gallet, and Wynd co-founder Arthur Perticoz, have announced the launch of Majelan, a podcast aggregator app that offers access to more than 13 million free episodes in several languages, as well as paid-for programs that feature original content.

* To finance the proposed acquisition of M7 Group SA, Vivendi SA completed the placement of a €2.1 billion bond, consisting of three tranches with a maturity of 3 years, 6 years and 9.5 years.

NETHERLANDS, BELGIUM AND LUXEMBOURG

* The editorial office of Dutch newspaper NRC said it has nominated René Moerland as their new editor-in-chief. Moerland, who has been working for NRC since 2000 and currently is the EU correspondent in Brussels, will succeed Peter Vandermeersch.

* Dutch public broadcaster NOS stopped supporting its smart TV app for LG Corp.'s WebOS, Ziggo Horizon, as well as on Sony Corp. and Philips platforms, arguing that maintaining support for a wide array of platforms is expensive, MediaMagazine reports.

NORDIC COUNTRIES

* Sweden's Wallenberg family is investing 660 million Swedish kronor in artificial intelligence-related R&D projects in the country, reports Digital Di. A large portion of the funding is being directed at projects examining the ethical and societal effects of AI.

* Fixed network services provider OGERO has trialed Nokia Corp. fixed access network slicing, according to a news release. The solution enables Ogero to create discrete network slices over its existing fiber-to-the-home network.

* Ericsson named Stella Medlicott as the company's senior vice president and head of group function marketing & corporate relations.

SOUTHERN EUROPE

* Türk Telekomünikasyon AŞ rolled out a new seven-day content catch-up feature on its pay TV platform Tivibu, Telecompaper reports. Subscribers will be able to use the feature via Tivibu's satellite platform while connected to the internet.

* Telecom Italia SpA launched Internet FWA, a new fixed wireless access offer for Italian businesses in areas where there is scarce fixed network coverage, Telecompaper reports, citing Mondo Mobile Web.

* Spanish operator Eurona Wireless Telecom SA said it will continue to carry Aragón TV's regional TV and three radio channels via satellite for another four years. Eurona's renewed deal with the regional broadcaster's parent entity Aragonesa de Servicios Telemáticos is worth €2.78 million.

EASTERN EUROPE

* A joint venture deal involving Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., MegaFon, Mail.ru Group Ltd. and the Russian Direct Investment Fund may be completed June 5, TASS reports, citing a source. The four entities agreed in September 2018 to form an e-commerce joint venture branded as AliExpress Russia.

* Huawei has acquired all of the assets of Russian facial recognition systems provider Vokord Telekom Zao for an undisclosed sum, Telecompaper reports, citing Cnews.ru.

* Dating app Tinder Inc. is yet to share user data and messages with Russian law enforcement agencies on demand, despite already agreeing to comply with the order, Reuters reports, quoting a spokesman for the Match Group Inc. unit. Meanwhile, internet search giant Yandex LLC has resisted pressure to hand over its encryption keys to state authorities, invoking user privacy, according to a separate Reuters report.

* Telecom operator m:tel is seeking approval from the Competition Council of Bosnia & Herzegovina for its proposed full acquisition of Doboj-based peer Elta-Kabel, Telecompaper reports, citing Biznisinfo.

* Telecom Italia's international unit Telecom Italia Sparkle SpA has teamed up with Telekom Slovenije d d to install a new cross-border fiber optic link between Milan and Ljubljana. The link is interconnected with the telcos' respective backbone networks.

FEATURED NEWS

Viacom positions streaming service Pluto TV for Spanish markets, ad growth: CEO Bob Bakish said that following deals to launch Pluto TV on Comcast and Cox, a third U.S. distribution agreement will be announced.

FEATURED RESEARCH

Global Multichannel: Global markets update — Croatia: Kagan has recently updated Global Multichannel & Broadband analysis for Croatia, as well as analysis for related operators Hrvatski Telekom and A1 Croatia.

RECENT EARNINGS

Salesforce beats profit consensus by 52.5% in fiscal Q1, ups full-year outlook: Salesforce's non-GAAP EPS for the fiscal first quarter was 93 cents, compared with the S&P Global Market Intelligence consensus normalized EPS estimate of 61 cents.

Anne Freier, Amanda Kelly, Koen Pijnappels and Gerard O'Dwyer contributed to this report.

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