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MTG completes Kongregate deal; Spotify, Warner Music near deal

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MTG completes Kongregate deal; Spotify, Warner Music near deal

In this monthly Best of Nordics feature, S&P Global Market Intelligence provides a roundup of recent market developments in Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland and Iceland.

TOP NEWS

* Modern Times Group MTG AB has completed a $55 million agreement to buy 100% of the shares in online games developer Kongregate Inc., it said July 24. The deal is in line with MTG's strategy to invest in scalable digital content producers with a presence in Europe and North America.

* Swedish-founded Spotify Ltd. and Warner Music Inc. are close to striking a new licensing deal, Reuters reported July 24, citing people familiar with the matter. The agreement could materialize by September, Reuters said. Spotify is reportedly working to secure the deal with the Warner Music Group Corp.-owned label before the music streamer goes public.

M&A

* India's National Company Law Tribunal has approved the proposed merger between Bharti Airtel Ltd. and Telenor ASA unit Telenor India, the Business Standard reported Aug. 3. In line with its decision, the tribunal directed the telecom operators to hold meetings of their equity shareholders and unsecured creditors in September to secure deal approval. Telenor India's two equity shareholders have already consented to the merger.

* Global investment firm Marlin Equity Partners is acquiring Swedish cloud services provider Medius AB for an undisclosed sum, the company said Aug. 2. The deal is expected to help speed up Medius' global expansion efforts while continuing to invest in its cloud-based solutions.

* CK Hutchison Holdings Ltd.'s Hutchison Drei Austria GmbH, doing business as Three Austria, agreed to buy Tele2 AB unit Tele2 Austria for €95 million, Tele2 said July 28. The deal is subject to regulatory approval. Upon deal closing, Tele2 will receive €85 million, and up to €10 million in the form of an earnout, payable within 12 months to 24 months depending on the success of the integration.

* Priceline Group Inc. received unconditional approval from the European Commission for its proposed acquisition of London-based Momondo Group, the EC said July 17. Momondo Group provides services in the online travel sector in 35 international markets with a focus on the Nordic region.

INTERNET, OTT AND MOBILE

* T-Mobile US Inc. teamed up with Qualcomm Inc. and Ericsson AB to field test narrowband internet of things, an LTE technology that uses "very small amounts of dedicated spectrum to carry data," the company said July 13.

OTHER NEWS

* Nokia Corp. has formed a subsidiary in Lódz, Poland, that will be in charge of design and construction of fiber optic networks in central and northeast Poland, Telecompaper reported Aug. 7, citing Telko.in. The new unit, Iris Telecommunication, aims to hire 200 to 250 employees within 12 months.

* Swedish venture capital firm Cevian, controlled by activist investor Christer Gardell, increased its ownership in Ericsson to 6.36% from 5.45% in mid-June, Realtid reported Aug. 1. Cevian's voting power in Ericsson has increased to 3.8% from 3.2%.

* Ericsson is under pressure to reorganize its management, Dagens Industri reported July 21. Ericsson's major owners want the company to appoint Assa Abloy CEO Johan Molin as group CEO. Owners also want Ericsson's current CEO Börje Ekholm to become group chairman.

* Telia Co. AB is laying off 850 personnel in a new cost-reduction round, with about 650 of the cuts in Sweden, Dagens Industri reported July 20. Management has not ruled out more cuts to reverse falling profitability.