* Swisscom AG is buying out media group Tamedia AG's 31% stake in their directory services joint venture Swisscom Directories Ltd., in a transaction valued at roughly CHF220 million. The Swiss telecom operator will become the sole owner of Swisscom Directories post deal completion, which is expected during the first quarter of 2019.
* Telecom Italia SpA has struck a 5G partnership with Sony Mobile Communications Inc., allowing the Sony Corp. unit to gain access to the Italian operator's facilities as it seeks to develop a 5G-compatible device.
* The European Commission set a Feb. 28, 2019, deadline for the Trump administration to nominate a key official to address complaints about access to personal data by U.S. authorities, amid growing privacy concerns in Europe. The decision follows the commission's second annual review of the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield, a set of laws governing transatlantic data transfers.
UK AND IRELAND
* British pay TV company Sky PLC said it changed its name to Sky Ltd., following its re-registration as a private limited company. The changes follow the completion of Sky's acquisition by U.S. cable giant Comcast Corp.
* Raglan House Holdings Ltd. has offered to acquire public relations and marketing company Freshwater UK PLC, in a deal that values the latter's entire share capital at about £2.4 million. Raglan is a new company set up for the offer by Freshwater Directors David Howell, Stephen Howell, John Underwood, Angharad Neagle and Haydn Evans.
* Digital advertising and marketing company S4 Capital PLC said 14,865,353 new ordinary shares have been purchased in an open offer that seeks to raise funds for its purchase of marketing programmatic solutions provider MightyHive Inc. The figure is equivalent to 58.05% of the total number of new shares available in the offer.
* S&P Global Ratings revised its outlook on Cable & Wireless Communications Ltd. to stable from negative on "improved" performance metrics following the damage from the hurricanes Maria and Irma in 2017 and the restoration of its mobile network in the affected markets.
GERMANY, SWITZERLAND AND AUSTRIA
* AB Volvo is set to sell its 75.1% stake in connected car company WirelessCar to Volkswagen AG for 1.1 billion Swedish kronor.
* Nokia Corp. and Telefónica Deutschland Holding AG have completed building their joint Early 5G Innovation Cluster in Berlin. The cluster provides a platform to test the performance of Nokia's 5G technology under real-life conditions and then trial specific services with subscribers in the Telefónica SA unit's network.
* Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland GmbH announced plans to launch a new general interest web portal, focusing on news, information and videos. It will target predominantly women in Germany, with articles on the entertainment world, TV and films, celebrities, lifestyle and travel.
* VATM, an association of Germany's alternative operators, has called for carrier pre-select regulation to remain in place, despite the planned cut in international call rates in the EU next year. It said the market still accounts for about 5 billion minutes per year and offers significant savings for consumers.
* Dataiku SAS, an analytics software company, secured $101 million in an Iconiq Capital LLC-led series C funding round. The company will use the proceeds to double its staff, accelerate the addition of new product features and expand its network of technology partners.
* Gameloft SE acquired FreshPlanet Inc., creators of the Songpop mobile music quiz game for an undisclosed amount.
* France Télévisions SA CEO Delphine Ernotte submitted the broadcaster's proposed 2019 budget for board approval, Le Figaro reports. The group is expected to generate €25 million in savings in 2019 through slashing 200 jobs and reducing programming costs.
* The French parliament voted to increase by €4 million the budget allocated to Agence France Presse SA for its public interest missions in 2019. This is in additional to the €111.8 million already allotted.
NETHERLANDS, BELGIUM AND LUXEMBOURG
* The Dutch government is working on moving the satellite park in the Frisian town of Burum, NOS reports, citing sources. The satellites are part of Dutch intelligence services, but could hinder 5G development in the Netherlands as they occupy the 3.5 GHz frequency band.
* Talpa Network plans to launch a news service for radio, TV and online, in 2019, NOS reports, citing Talpa owner John de Mol. Talpa Network will reportedly include Dutch news agency ANP in its plans, following its acquisition of the latter earlier this year.
* WithLove, a streaming service offering romantic films, has launched in the Netherlands and Belgium, Het Laatste Nieuws reports. The €5.95-a-month video-on-demand platform reportedly contains 100 titles and plans to increase its offer to 250 in 2019.
* Schibsted ASA CEO Kristin Skogen Lund has led a company reorganization, naming top executives for the Norwegian media group's three new business areas. Anders Skoe will head the Nordic marketplaces segment, Siv Juvik Tveitnes will lead the publishing division, and Raoul Grünthal will take charge of the Schibsted Next division. Trond Berger will remain CFO, while Mette Krogsrud returns to Schibsted as chief people and corporate affairs officer. The company is still searching for a chief data and technology officer.
* Nokia is providing a private LTE network to the Port of HaminaKotka, in partnership with digital connectivity company Ukkoverkot Oy. The network enables internet of things functionality and mobile access to vital applications and information.
* Ericsson has signed a cooperation agreement with mining industry service company Epiroc AB to develop LTE and 5G technologies for the mining industry. The technology will be used to digitize and automate mining operations.
* P3 Group GmbH has signed an agreement with Ericsson, to provide crowdsourcing data and support service providers in their transition from 4G to 5G. Ericsson will enhance 5G readiness of clients' networks, based on P3's crowd source data.
* Swedish telecom regulator PTS has published guidelines for the establishment of wireless solutions by local and regional operators. The PTS said dedicated access using radio connectivity or mobile networks is most suitable for reaching the government's high-speed broadband goals.
* Turkcell Iletisim Hizmetleri AS named Ömer Barbaros Yiş as executive vice president of marketing in an acting capacity. Yiş' new role adds to his existing post as consumer marketing director at the Turkish telco.
* Movistar eSports, the esports channel of Telefónica's Movistar, will not be accessible anymore on the pay TV platform, Advanced Television reports. Viewers will still be able to watch the channel via video-on-demand and the #Vamos platform, among others.
* Antenna Hungária Zrt. has revamped its online TV service mindiGO TV, Broadband TV News reports. Users will now have access to access to catch-up content, as well as watch 16 TV channels free of charge.
* Telewizja Polska SA has clinched a deal with Polish national transmission company EmiTel Sp zoo to distribute its TVP Rozrywka and TVP Sport HD channels via the country's eighth digital terrestrial TV multiplex, Broadband TV News reports.
Q&A: M&A ahead for smaller cable network groups, distributors, says Bain partner: Daniel Hong, a partner in Bain & Co.'s New York office and an expert in the firm's media and entertainment and digital practices, spoke about his M&A outlook, the regulatory environment and the evolving advertising market.
Economics of Advertising: Future TV Advertising Forum: Making a case for addressable TV: With U.K. TV advertising declining in 2017 for the first time since 2009, agencies and broadcasters are looking to addressable advertising to develop a competitive challenge to digital's share of the marketplace.
Global Multichannel: Fixed broadband revenues in the CEE region: Fixed broadband revenues in most of six smaller central and Eastern European markets are rising, driven by subscriber growth, whereas average revenues per user have remained stable over the last three years.
Global Multichannel: Western Europe sports rights database: H2'18 update: Pay TV fights back after the emergence of over-the-top newcomers.
Daniela Latini, Sylvia Edwards Davis, Koen Pijnappels and Esben Svendsen contributed to this report.
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This S&P Global Market Intelligence news article may contain information about credit ratings issued by S&P Global Ratings, a separately managed division of S&P Global. Descriptions in this news article were not prepared by S&P Global Ratings. The original S&P Global Ratings documents referred to in this news brief can be found here.