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Facebook unit gets Danish startup; Mediaset, Sky Italia dodge antitrust fines


MediaTalk Episode 27


Insight Weekly: Bank boards lag on gender parity; future of office in doubt; US LNG exports leap


MediaTalk | Episode 26: Video game industry growth softens amid post-pandemic hurdles


Insight Weekly: Job growth faces hurdles; shale firms sit on cash pile; Africa's lithium future

Facebook unit gets Danish startup; Mediaset, Sky Italia dodge antitrust fines


* Facebook Inc.'s virtual reality unit Oculus VR, Inc. acquired Copenhagen-based startup The Eye Tribe, TechCrunch reports. The Eye Tribe has developed technology that allows VR systems to save power by generating perfect graphics based on where the user is looking.

* Mediaset SpA unit Mediaset Premium, Sky plc unit Sky Italia S.R.L., Infront Italy and Italy's professional football league won an appeal against €66 million in fines for alleged anticompetitive practices in the 2014 sale of pay TV rights for soccer matches, Telecompaper reports, citing Il Sole 24 Ore. The Lazio administrative court reportedly said there was a lack of evidence to prove the parties harmed local pay TV competition.


* Snapchat overtook Facebook and Twitter Inc. in terms of U.K. usage during the Christmas holiday, with users of the Snap Inc. app increasing by a quarter, Mobile Choice reports, citing data from British Telecom unit EE Ltd. The data also showed that the queen's speech was the most-watched TV content on Dec. 25.


* Deutsche Telekom AG said it will increasingly focus on the development of 5G technology, particularly on sensor-based connectivity for the Internet of Things. The German telecommunications company expects the commercialization of narrowband-IoT technology to be the biggest trend in 2017.

* German printing solutions company Xerox is splitting into two companies amid increased digitization pressure in the media industry, Handelsblatt reports. Xerox will offer services around print technology and automation while its spin-off, Conduent, will specialize in processes like data analysis.

* Germany's Federal Network Regulator received more than 220,000 complaints in 2016, the largest number since it started recording them. Connection issues were the most-logged complaint, followed by problems with changing either telecommunications providers or the services they offer.

* Swiss telecommunications company Swisscom AG won a tender by hospital Kantonsspital St. Gallen to substantially develop and maintain its Cisco infrastructure for 25.5 million Swiss francs, according to The project is scheduled to start in January 2017 and finish by the end of 2026.


* France's highest administrative court, Conseil d’État, rejected Mediapart's issue of constitutionality request, Les Echos reports. The news site opposed the tax regulation transposed based on an EU directive that excludes online media from the reduced VAT rate applied to print.

* SFR will broadcast the French All-Star basketball event in 4K. While the three-hour show will be available today to SFR subscribers with access to the SFR SPORT2 and SFR SPORT 4K channels, free-to-air viewers must wait until Jan. 1, 2017, to see it on channel Numéro 23.

* Altice NV will stop the transmission of sports channels MCS Tennis and UFC Premium on Jan. 3, 2017, Univers Freebox reports. SFR's parent company had already announced that Piwi, Télétoon and Télétoon+1 would cease to be available on that date as they become exclusive to Canalsat.


* Dutch public broadcaster NPO said it does not plan to disclose the detailed expenditure overview that state media secretary Sander Dekker is seeking to request by introducing a new regulation in the Media Law, reports. According to NPO CEO Shula Rijxman, more political involvement in content-level decisions will endanger the broadcaster's politically independent nature.

* Liberty Global plc unit Telenet is willing to sell off part of the recently acquired SFR BeLux to cabler VOO, Telecompaper reports, citing an interview Telenet CEO John Porter had with L'Echo. Porter reportedly said that specifically, the cable network in the Belgian province of Henegouwen might be subject to a transaction with Voo.

* The Authority for Personal Data in the Netherlands (AP) revealed that it received almost 5,500 notifications of data leaks since introducing a notification obligation earlier this year. A brief analysis of the data leaks published by AP shows the majority of them were related to the healthcare industry, financial services and public governance.


* AINMT Holdings said it granted a shareholder loan of up to 400 million Norwegian kroner to AINMT Scandinavia Holdings, owner of mobile network operator The capital is to be used to fund customer acquisition and network expansion.

* Media group Schibsted ASA decided to remove its publications in Sweden from the Swedish KIA Index, which is an independent measurement of online traffic, Resume reports. Schibsted owns several newspapers and websites in Sweden, including the country's largest online media, Aftonbladet.

* Telia Co. AB unit Telia Denmark said it expects to see a boom in the use of mobile health apps and wearables in 2017. According to analysis from Telia, the most popular health apps in 2016 were used to control calorie intake.


* The local governments of Andalucia and Madrid in Spain slapped Telefónica SA with fines of €6.23 million and €30,000, respectively, after consumer rights group Facua complained about price increases in the operator's Fusion packages in 2015, Telecompaper reports.


* Volia rolled out Volia TV, a mobile app featuring the TV packages Start HD and Super HD, as well as internet access of 100 Mbps and 200 Mbps, Broadband TV News reports. Volia TV users can also access a seven-day catch-up feature.

* Russian state-owned firm Rostekh could sell its 1.32% stake in MegaFon, Telecompaper reports, citing The company reportedly dropped plans to raise its stake in the Russian operator.

* The Czech government will create a specialist unit to fend off fake news online in preparation for the country's general elections in October 2017, London's The Guardian reports. Starting off with 20 full-time employees, the Center Against Terrorism and Hybrid Threats will commence operations on Jan. 1, 2017.


CAPITAL Letters: A telecom outlook from Wells Fargo Securities: Both wireless and wireline carriers are increasingly challenging broadband and cable TV providers for residential and enterprise customers but will likely have to invest considerable capital ahead to effectively compete.

US Media & Comm director moves through Dec. 28: S&P Global Market Intelligence presents a rundown of board changes in the media and communications industries.

Briefing Room: 2016's biggest influencers in European media, telecommunications: This year's shortlist of people with outsized influence in the European media and telecoms landscape includes corporate power brokers, a presenter and a politician.

M&A Replay: European deals through Dec. 23: Verizon, Vivendi, MegaFon: S&P Global Market Intelligence provides a wrap-up of European media and communications deal announcements, completions and updates from Dec. 19 to Dec. 23.

In Play Today: CBS eyeing Sony Pictures; Amazon may buy truck tracking app: CBS Corp. is interested in Sony Pictures division, while may buy or develop an app that could schedule and track truck shipments of its products.


Economics of Internet: US e-commerce revenues roll higher in Q3: Relentless growth in the U.S. e-commerce sector showed no sign of easing in the third quarter, with e-commerce pure-plays and brick-and-mortar retailers alike seeing notable gains.

Sylvia Edwards Davis, Stefanie Eschenbacher, 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.