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Apple Pay debuts in France; Ericsson CEO faces ax

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Apple Pay debuts in France; Ericsson CEO faces ax

TOP NEWS

*Apple Inc.'s mobilepayment solution Apple Pay is now available in France, Les Echos reports  Visa cardholders and clients of banks Caissesd'Epargne, Banques Populaires and Carrefour Banque with selected Apple devicescan make in-store purchases using Apple Pay, according to the report.

*Ericsson AB couldfire CEO Hans Vestberg as the company faces claims that it inflated salesfigures and paid excessive bonuses to top managers, Svenska Dagbladet reports.One possible replacement is former Ericsson senior executive Anders Runevad,currently CEO at Danish wind systems company Vestas A/S.

PAN-EUROPEAN

*The European Commission is targeting a minimum broadband speed of 100 Mbps forEU households within 10 years, the FinancialTimes of London reports,citing a copy of the draft plans. The goal, reportedly part of an overhaul ofEU telecom rules, is expected to cost telecom operators €155 billion.

UK ANDIRELAND

*Liberty Global plcunit Virgin MediaInc. will cease carriage of Eir Group's Eir Sports package at the end of July, afterfailing to reach a new wholesale agreement, TheIrish Times reports.Virgin Media reportedly struck a multiyear deal with , for access to a raft ofchannels, including the new Sky Sports Mix.  

*The British BroadcastingCorp. launched its new BBC+ app, which features personalizedcontent on a variety of topics such as food, technology, news and politics, theBBC said.The free app is available for Android and iOS users in the U.K.

*Patricia Hodgson will continue to serve as Ofcom chairman until March 31, 2018,following a term extension.Hodgson joined the British communications watchdog's board in 2011, becamedeputy chairman in 2012 and assumed her current role in 2014.

*The U.K. government unveiledthe full list of all government appointments following Theresa May's ascensionas prime minister. As earlierannounced, Karen Bradley is secretary of state for culture, media and sport,replacing John Whittingdale, while Matt Hancock will succeed Ed Vaizey asminister of state under the DCMS.

, SWITZERLAND ANDAUSTRIA

*German Internet group Unister has gone into administration, following the deathof founder Thomas Wagner in an airplane crash. Legal assistance comes fromLucas Flöther, who confirmedthe plans for administration to MitteldeutscheZeitung.

*Axel Springer SEsecured permission to construct a new office building in Berlin, reportsMeedia. The office, which has spacefor 3,500 workers, will be home to editorial teams of news sites N24 as well asSpringer digital services.

*Vivendi SA saidit now holds 22.8% of Ubisoft's share capital and 20.2% of its voting rights.The French media company also confirmed its investment is part of a strategic visionof operational convergence between Vivendi's content and platform and Ubisoft'svideo game production.

*Canal Plus SA is indiscussions with IliadSA-owned Free to create a fiber offer with its premium channel andCanalsat content, reportsUnivers Freebox. OrangeSA previously signed an agreement with Canal+ and now offers Canal+sports, films, documentaries and TV series content via its latest Livebox.

*Sky New Zealandentered into an agreement with France's Prime Entertainment Group, RapidTV Newsreports.The French video production and distribution company will provide Sky NZ's SkyMovies with shows such as "The Brothers Warner," "The True Storyof Angelina Jolie" and other best-sellers from their collection.

,BELGIUM AND LUXEMBOURG

*Dutch consumer and market authority ACM plans to stop regulating the marketsfor fixed telephony and enterprise telecom, NU.nl reports.According to the ACM, none of the providers on either market holds a dominantposition anymore.

*Proximus sold itschannel Sport 10 to American provider of martial arts content CSI Sports,Telecompaper reports.Proximus reportedly said that CSI is in a better position to develop Sports 10,which is available to 1.3 million Proximus IPTV customers, compared to CSIFight Sports channel, which can be viewed in more than 30 countries in Europeand Asia.

* Aglass fiber network will be deployed in the rural zones around Hardenberg andSalland Noord in the Dutch Overijssel province, Glasvezel.nu reports.A vote among local consumers and businesses showed that there was a 52.3% and a59.6% majority in favor of glass fiber in Hardenberg and Salland Noord,respectively.

*Dutch regional cable provider Delta will increase its monthly rates by between55 euro cents and €3.25, depending on the subscription, Mediamagazine reports.According to Delta, the company wants to invest more in hardware in order to handlelarger data traffic.

NORDIC COUNTRIES

*The share price of Norwegian online browser and ad company dropped in responseto news that a muchawaited takeover by a Chinese consortium had collapsed, e24.no reports.Opera also confirmed the sale of large portions of its consumer business to thesame consortium for $600 million.

SOUTHERN EUROPE

*Greek public broadcaster ERT tapped Orange's media services unit to bring ERT World andfive radio channels to Greek audiences across Europe, Broadband TV News reports.Globecast will provide fiber connectivity for the content to its Paris offices,with the signals uplinked to EutelsatCommunications SA's HotBird satellite for transmission.

*Vodafone Portugallaunched the Disney Movies on Demand app, which enables users to watch filmsfrom Walt Disney Co.and Pixar AnimationStudios. The VodafoneGroup Plc unit also added the Discovery HD and MTV HD channels toits TV package, Telecompaper reports.

*Italian Industry Minister Carlo Calenda said the government will review itsplan to build anational fiber broadband network in digital divide areas in order to includeindustrial zones. The review is part of the relaunch of the government'sIndustry 4.0 plan on Aug. 5, Telecompaper reports,citing Corriere delle Comunicazioni.

EASTERN EUROPE

*Vodafone Czech Republicas is testing Voice over LTE and Wi-Fi calling services,Telecompaper reports,citing Mobilenet.cz. The VoLTE service runs via a new LTE network, while theWi-Fi calling feature is available via a free app prepared by the Czech telco.

*Orange Polska andNetia SA are close tosealing a fiber infrastructure investment deal, Telecompaper reports,citing Parkiet. The deal is expectedto help the two Polish operators in rolling out fiber-to-the-home servicesfaster while saving on costs.

*Scripps Networks InteractiveInc.'s TVNSA is preparing a theme and name change for one of its channels,Broadband TV News reports,citing Press.pl. TVN Meteo, which morphed into TV Meteo Active in April 2015,will become a home and garden-themed channel featuring shows from ScrippsNetworks' HGTV.

*MegaFon's boardelected Vladimir Streshinsky as chairman, Telecompaper reports.Meanwhile, Elena Breeva will serve as corporate secretary until the first boardmeeting following the telco's 2017 annual general meeting.

*Anastasios Tzoulas will remain administrator of 's cable unit NextGenCommunications for another four years, Telecompaper reports,citing Ziarul Financiar. The decisionto extend Tzoulas' term was signed by the Deutsche Telekom AG unit's CEO Miroslav Majoros.

FEATURED NEWS

: S&P Global Market Intelligencesat down with Khaldoon Tabaza, founder and managing director of iMENA Group, ane-commerce giant in the Middle East and North Africa region.

: Twitterinked a series of streaming partnerships, while Netflix garnered 54 nominationsfor the 68th Emmy Awards by the Television Academy, and Amazon.com's PrimeVideo picked up 16.

: S&P Global Market Intelligence provides a wrap-up of mediaand communications deal announcements and completions from July 11 to July 15.

: S&P Global MarketIntelligence provides a wrap-up of European media and communications dealannouncements, completions and updates from July 11 to July 15.

FEATURED RESEARCH

: During the "Smart cities and connectedcitizens" panel at the Shape AT&T Expo at San Francisco GiantsAT&T Park, most of the discussion was about how connected cars andautonomous driving will change cities and how wireless connectivity will makeit all possible.

: The cable TV financing snapshot table listsmonthly totals for cable industry public and private debt, equity and stockbuybacks from a historical range of years to the present.

: Presenting the editor's top picks fromSNL Kagan's exclusive research and analysis for the week ended July 15.

RECENT EARNINGS

: The company did not mention who wonthe auction for its core internet assets during an earnings conference call,though executives remained optimistic about the company's future.

: Netflix's executives covered a lot ofground on the company's second-quarter earnings call as investors sold offshares on disappointing subscriber growth.

Amanda Kelly, Anne Freier,Koen Pijnappels and Gerard O'Dwyer contributed to this report. The Daily Dosehas an editorial deadline of 7 a.m. London time. Some external links mayrequire a subscription.