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NY to approve Altice-Cablevision deal; EC wants transparency in web search results


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NY to approve Altice-Cablevision deal; EC wants transparency in web search results


* NewYork regulators are expected to approve AlticeNV's proposedacquisition of , the New York Post reports.Despite concerns, the city will reportedly recommend the deal during the May 9 Departmentof Information Technology meeting, while the state's Public Service Commission willapprove it later that month.

* EuropeanCommission Vice President for the Digital Single Market Andrus Ansip wants moretransparency in web search results of search engines like Alphabet Inc.-owned GoogleInc. and Microsoft Corp.'sBing, Reuters reports.Ansip reportedly said the EC will take a problem-driven approach in regulating onlineservices, as it is impossible to apply a one-size-fits-all approach. The commissionis also looking into paid-for reviews and the use of services such as Google Maps,the Android operating system and AppleInc.'s iOS.


* GooglePresident for Europe, Middle East and Africa Matt Brittin said that red tape inthe EU is stifling the European tech sector, the Financial Times (London) reports.Brittin argued that excessive regulation on tech companies is discouraging entrepreneursand could cause Europe to fall behind in digital innovation, putting it in dangerof being overtaken by China. Google is facing EU scrutiny for a number of issuesinvolving, among others, the Android operating system, comparison shopping searches and tax practices.


* BritishCulture Secretary John Whittingdale is planning to force the British Broadcasting Corp. to sell some or all of its stakein multichannel broadcaster UKTV, a joint venture with Scripps Networks Interactive Inc., The Daily Telegraph (London) reports.The plan will reportedly allow Scripps Networks to pursue a takeover of UKTV. TheBBC, which owns half of UKTV via BBCWorldwide Ltd., will most likely resist the plan, according to the report.

* BritishCulture Minister Ed Vaizey confirmed in Parliament that the government will publishits white paper on the BBC's charter renewal in May, Broadcast reports.No exact date has been set, but the white paper will reportedly be released beforethe June 23 referendum on whether the U.K. should remain in the EU. The white paperis expected to confirm how radical Culture Secretary John Whittingdale's plans arefor the public broadcaster, including in terms of governance changes.

* launchedBT Infinity 1, a fiber broadband service that offers speeds of up to 52 Mbps. Newcustomers can access the BT Infinity 1 service via a 12-month contract for an introductoryprice of £10 per month.


* held talks to explorethe possibility of purchasing the Frankfurt-Hahn Airport in Germany, Business Insiderreports,citing Süddeutsche Zeitung. Details ofthe discussions were not revealed, but it is understood that the airport is lookinginto three other offers from unnamed parties. Acquiring the airport will reportedlyallow Amazon to boost its European operations.

* CEO and largestshareholder Ralph Dommermuth called on the government to establish a digital ministry,Handelsblatt reports.An internet minister could bundle together topics in a meaningful way and followclear goals, he reportedly said. Dommermuth also called on German companies to counterthe digital dominance of U.S. firms, adding that the internet-revolution is notjust affecting publishers or the music industry but also machinery and car manufacturerswhich form the heart of the local economy.

* Googleis slashing the price of its Nexus 6P smartphone in Germany by €150, reports.The discounted prices will reportedly be effective for almost three weeks. Accordingto the report, the 64 GB model of the Nexus 6P is on sale at the Google Store for€550 instead of €700, the biggest discount on list price since sales of the smartphonebegan in Germany. Previously, Google had cut the price by €100.

* criticized Swiss broadcasterSRG's deal with Swisscom AGto show EURO 2016 football games in Ultra HD, Werbewoche reports.A UPC spokesman reportedly said that the agreement could grant Swisscom a competitiveadvantage, and that UPC Cablecom was not contacted by SRG regarding Ultra HD football.An SRG spokesman said the EURO 2016 project with Swisscom is just a trial and thefurther development of Ultra HD is open to other providers. UPC Cablecom is a unitof Liberty Global plc.


* completed the acquisitionof 100% of cybersecurity firm Lexsi through its Orange Business Services unit. Financialterms of the deal were not undisclosed. Michel Van Den Berghe, CEO of Orange Cyberdefense,said in a statementthat the acquisition of Lexsi, a specialist in threat intelligence services, reinforcesOrange's threat analysis and detection, and its ability to respond to cyberattacks.

* published itsannual results for 2015, showing a positive bottom line for the first time since2012. In a statement,the company said that this positive net income of €200,000 is an improvement comparedto the approved budget that predicted a loss of €9.8 million. The costs of the voluntaryredundancy plan were lower than expected, which helped neutralize the effect ofadvertising revenues being lower than budgeted.

* FranceTélévisions News Director Michel Field rejected calls for him to resign, Le Parisien reports.Currently under a non-confidence motion to be voted upon by journalists on April19, Field met with management April 15. Critics object to his casual approach, abruptmethods and alleged lies. According to the report, Field said that he considersthe motion to be a call to order and he is willing to admit his mistakes, but aresignation is out of the question. He added that he wishes to re-establish a relationshipof trust with the editorial departments and intends to defend their independenceas a public service.

* Frenchnational rugby league LNR decided to move up the date of the next tender for broadcastingrights for the seasons 2019-2020 to 2022-2023, CB News reports.The decision to make the call earlier is linked to the preparation of a strategicplan for professional rugby for 2016-2023 to be submitted in July, and also to recentdevelopments related to the current holders of broadcasting rights. The call forbids will be sent out April 18, with a deadline for submission of May 9.

* Franceremoved more than 1,000 items of illegal content in a year, France 24 reports,citing a document from French data privacy regulator CNIL. Since the terrorist attacksof January 2015, the government has reportedly removed 1,080 items of illegal content,blocked more than 60 sites and ordered the delisting of 386 sites, all linked toterrorist propaganda. Since February 2015, the Ministry of the Interior, throughthe centralized cybercrime office OCLCTIC, can make a site inaccessible or orderthe deletion of content linked to terrorism or child pornography from a site orsocial network without prior consent from a judge.

* Francewill launch a festival devoted entirely to television series in 2017, Le Figaro reports.Culture Minister Audrey Azoulay said that TV series today have a cultural, economicand even diplomatic influence that goes beyond entertainment. The event will buildon the Séries Mania de Paris and Fontainebleau Série Series festivals and will beassigned a budget of up to €5 million, according to the report.


* Editorsand sympathizers of Dutch magazine Elsevierwill question parent company RELX Group at an April 20 shareholders' meeting,following the recent announcement of the magazine's possible name change, Het Financieele Dagblad reports.Elsevier employees fear that the title's removal will have major adverse consequencesfor the magazine's future exploitation.

* customers who use the provider'sWifiSpots and own a device from manufacturer Apple were obliged to re-register toregain access to Wi-Fi, following the provider's adjusted security regulations,TotaalTV writes.As a result of new security certificates for Apple devices, customers were forcedto download a new certificate to regain access to Ziggo's Wi-FiSpots.


* Technologycommunity group Tech Sverige is calling for public protests outside the Swedishparliament building to highlight Spotify's threat to move its headquarters out ofSweden, reportsDi Digital. Spotify is reportedly unhappy at the lack of solid government policymeasures to support new startup technology firms in Sweden and wants amendmentsto stock option laws to make it more tax-friendly for employees to own shares. Spotifyalso thinks that Sweden's high capital gains tax on stock options impedes its abilityto recruit the best technical skills and management talent, according to the report.

* grew its revenues in 2015to 5 billion Swedish kronor from 4.76 billion kronor in 2014, the company said inits 2015 annual report.Com.Hem reported a net result of 91.9 million kronor in 2015, in contrast to postingan operating loss in 2014. Further, the company's customer base rose from to 911,000in 2015 from 876,000 the year before.

* Industrialtrade union unrest in Sweden threatens to block public broadcaster SVT's hostingof the Eurovision Song Contest in May, reportsGöteborgs Posten. SVT is caught up ina collective bargaining dispute between the Swedish engineering union and employergroup ALMEGA that centers on pay and pension contributions. Strike action was proposedbut postponed pending a dispute hearing in the labor court. The union could stillstrike if it fails to achieve a satisfactory result in court.

* Norway'stelecom industry regulator Nkom said the Feb. 19 crash of Telenor ASA's mobile network services could and should havebeen avoided. Interference from system resilience tests run by French company PriorityOne Security caused the crash, reports.The tests were conducted for one of Priority One Security's European mobile operatorclients.

* SchibstedMedia Group extended shares to key employees in the Norwegian organization undertwo different long-term incentive programs, the company said in a statement.Under the new provision, Schibsted granted 14,390 B shares as a restricted shareaward to members of the group's Schibsted executive team. This is being done underSchibsted's long-term incentive program, called Schibsted Executive Plan 2016. Underthis plan, each member of the group management is entitled to receive a restrictedshare award based on a fixed percentage of the participant's base salary.


* Thehighest administrative court in Italy, the Council of State, is objecting to severalprovisions of the planned TV license fee restructure,Telecompaper reports.The Council of State reportedly wants to properly define the use of the term "TVsets," as there are already a wide range of devices that can access TV content.Also, the language of the revised license fee rules should reportedly be clear andunderstandable by consumers.  The Italiangovernment is set to integrate the annual TV license fee to utility bills by July1. 

* is planning to createa global content production hub, Rapid TV News reports,citing Cinco Días. The Spanish telco willreportedly use its pay TV unit DTSDistribuidora de Television Digital SA to form the new company, whichcould be named Movistar Plus, in line with Telefónica's pay TV platform. The plannedproduction hub will focus on content-making and acquisition and global commercialization,according to the report.

* and teamedup to speed up the development of 5G technology as well as applications thatwill drive the Internet of Things. Under the deal, the Turkish telco will give Nokiaaccess to its network infrastructure for real-time testing of 5G and IoT technologiessuch as smart cities, smart home, tracking, metering and latency-sensitive applications.Nokia is also currently deploying 4G LTE-A technology for Türk Telekom.

* unit VodafoneSpain is launching a new e-sports-focused format on Viacom Inc.'s MTV, Rapid TV News reports.The docu-reality "Gamers" will begin its 13-episode first season on April28, according to the report. The show will also reportedly be offered via Vodafone'se-sports YouTube channel.


* TheNational Council of Television and Radio Broadcasting of Ukraine banned three moreRussian channels, Broadband TV News reports.Channels RTG TV, Kinoklub and Retro reportedly failed to comply with local laws,as well as the provisions of the European Convention on Transfrontier Television.

* Russianbank Sberbank is looking to launch a mobile virtual network operator business, Telecompaperreports,citing Vedomosti. Sberbank is reportedlyin talks with Tele2 Russiaand VimpelCom Ltd.'s Beelinefor the planned venture.

* Accessto the website and subdomains of Russian state news agency Sputnik's website hasbeen blocked in Turkey, Reuters reports,citing Sputnik Turkey editor-in-chief Mahir Boztepe. The website was blocked followingPresident Vladimir Putin's critical comments against Turkish leaders. Russia's foreignministry said that the site blocking is unlawful and a grave violation of humanrights. In response, the Turkish internet regulator said that it imposed an "administrationmeasure" on


BriefingRoom: Steph tops Kobe in ESPN ratings battle; CSN Bay Area dunks RSN household mark:Steph Curry and Kobe Bryant put on shows on the final night of the 2015-16 NBA regularseason, leading to a host of national and ratings records.

MarketWeek: Mediastocks trade upward with markets as investors brace for earnings: Arun of better-than-expected bank earnings led to a broad upward swing during theweek ending April 15, and investors saw several reasons to buy media stocks.

The Program Guide:International edition: Corus, Netflix ink Canadian deal for Nickelodeon shows; China'sTencent buys BBC documentaries: SNL Kagan presents a roundup of recentprogramming announcements from various international networks and online video platforms.

Data Dispatch:Largest media, communications companies display healthiest payout ratios for 2015:Companies with the largest market capitalizations maintained dividend or FFO-per-sharepayout ratios below 100% in 2015. Four out of the top 10 media and communicationsfirms with the highest dividend payout rates exceeded 100% a year ago.

Best of SNL: Media& Comm, editor's picks: Take a look at the media and communicationseditor's top five picks for the week ended April 15.

Best of SNL: Media& Comm, most read: SNL Kagan presents the five most read media andcommunications articles for the week ended April 15.

Anti-adblock measuresgain momentum as traditional media pull through hard times: Traditionalprint media in the U.K. are looking to introduce anti-adblock filters, amid steepdeclines in print advertising and a rise in adblocking across the industry.

The Daily Dose:Charter buys Clearview Networks; Microsoft sues DOJ over customer data requests:Charter Communications acquired Clearview Networks for an undisclosed sum, whileMicrosoft filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Justice over customer datasearches.


: Our updated analysis of thetop 50 radio station owners by average reach of the total U.S. weekly audience forspring and fall 2015 shows iHeartMedia again leading the pack in terms of overallaudience.

: Turner Networks and CBS were clearlyhappy with the results of this year's NCAA men's basketball tournament, agreeingto pay $8.8 billion for an eight-year extension on their deal, which secures rightsthrough 2032.

Amanda Kelly, Patrick Winters, Charlotte van Hek and GerardO'Dwyer contributed to this report. The Daily Dose has an editorial deadline of7 a.m. London time. Some external links may require a subscription.