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EU to force content quota on Netflix; Vivendi, others eye Lagardère Studios

TOP NEWS

* The European Commission is considering imposing a 30% quota on European content output for streaming operators such as Netflix Inc. and Amazon.com Inc.'s Amazon Studios, which will be voted upon in December, Advanced Television reports.

* Several investors, including special purpose acquisition company Mediawan SA, Vivendi SA and RTL Group, are considering buying Lagardère SCA unit Lagardère Studios, Les Echos reports. According to industry sources, Lagardère Studios is valued at about €200 million.

PAN-EUROPEAN

* The European Commission has launched the procedure for the adoption of its adequacy decision regarding the transfer of EU personal data to Japan. The procedure specifies, among others, the additional safeguards and commitments by Japanese authorities on EU personal data transferred to their country.

UK AND IRELAND

* British Telecom rolled out a new service and network automation platform to help customers take advantage of the latest technologies based on software defined wide area networking and network functions virtualisation.

* Multiplatform media company Future PLC has completed the purchase of the business-to-consumer operations of U.S. digital publisher Purch Inc. The acquisition is expected to boost Future's efforts to build a global specialist media platform.

GERMANY, SWITZERLAND AND AUSTRIA

* Journalists at Axel Springer SE should not expect a salary increase of newly regulated tariffs, Meedia reports. The German digital publisher said it reserved the right to settle a salary increase of 1.9% negotiated by workers' unions through extra tariff allowances.

* A large number of the general terms and conditions used by PlayStation 4 maker Sony Interactive Entertainment Europe Ltd. for its online platform are incompatible with German law and is therefore ineffective, according to German consumer rights association Verbraucherzentrale NRW. Sony Interactive Entertainment Europe is a unit of Sony Corp.

* German cable operator Tele Columbus plans to remain independent despite reports of a possible takeover, CEO Timm Degenhardt told Reuters. Speculations about Tele Columbus' future have persisted since United Internet AG built a 28.5% stake in 2016.

* Axel Springer SE has completed construction of its new offices in Berlin. The new facility will house 3,500 employees.

* German entertainment company DOSB New Media GmbH, which operates online broadcaster Sportdeutschland.TV, and German sports association Deutsche Keglerbund Classic, announced a content cooperation to stream Bundesliga sports bowling games.

FRANCE

* Orange SA and Iliad SA's Free may be moving toward wider sharing of their mobile infrastructure, Le Figaro reports. Iliad CEO Thomas Reynaud told analysts that consolidation is not a structural subject and that the company is operating in a four-player market. Analysts from Bryan Garnier reportedly said the "new deal" with the government could serve as the gateway to a more advanced partnership and network sharing could be an alternative to consolidation.

* Groupe M6's board vice president, Thomas Valentin, said the M6 channel is canceling more than 50 evenings of U.S. series per year, Le Figaro reports. The network will replace such programming with local productions including French fiction, variety shows and news magazines.

NETHERLANDS, BELGIUM AND LUXEMBOURG

* The opening for a fourth player in the Belgian telecom market will not be filled by French telecom company Iliad, De Morgen reports. Belgian Telecom Minister Alexander De Croo earlier announced that he will assist a new player to enter the telecom market in the licensing auction planned for 2019.

* KPN NV is working on a switch to new HD broadcasting norm standard HEVC for its Digitenne offer, starting in the Dutch province of Groningen in October, TotaalTV reports. After October, KPN's Digitenne offer will reportedly only be available in DVB-T2 and HEVC in the country's northeast, and in December in the southwest.

* The Dutch Court of The Hague ruled that the Dutch state is responsible for normalizing statements on illegal downloading by former Justice Secretary Fred Teeven. A group of film producers started the legal procedure, arguing that the statements created an environment in which illegal downloading was generally accepted, to which the court agreed.

* Intelsat SA unit Intelsat Jackson Holdings plans to offer $2 billion in senior notes due 2024, according to a statement. Intelsat Jackson's obligations under the notes will be guaranteed by some of its subsidiaries, which in turn would guarantee the company's obligations under its senior secured credit facilities, its 9.50% senior secured notes due 2022 and its 8.00% senior secured notes due 2024.

NORDIC COUNTRIES

* Telia Co. AB has launched a pre-commercial 5G network in Helsinki and plans to start commercial services in early 2019. The network presently operates on test frequencies, and full-scale commercial operation will be possible in 2019 after Finnish telecom regulator Ficora holds a planned 3.5-GHz 5G frequency auction.

* Telia Finland said Nokia Corp. is bringing its core IT and service systems into Telia's Helsinki data center, touted as the largest in Finland. The agreement is regarded as an important step in the implementation of Nokia's global data center strategy.

* Ericsson is expanding its 5G platform with new hardware and software products, including new Radio Access Network architecture, and spectrum sharing between 4G and 5G bands. The new solutions will be made commercially available in the second half of 2019.

* Danish energy and broadband company EWII A/S has sold its telemedicine subsidiary EWII Telecare A/S to Tunstall Nordic AB, a part of British company Tunstall Healthcare Group, for an undisclosed sum.

* Swedish telecom regulator PTS said its auction in the 700-MHz band will go ahead as planned, despite operator Hi3G Access AB, or Three, appealing certain rules of the auction. Several stakeholders have asked if the process will be delayed due to the appeal.

SOUTHERN EUROPE

* Vivendi has expressed its "deep concern" on the "disastrous" management of Telecom Italia SpA, months after activist fund Elliott Management Corp. seized control of the Italian operator's board during the May 4 shareholders' meeting. The French media group noted the drop in TIM's share price by about 35% since May, as well as the spreading of rumors including the supposed departure of the telco's CEO.

* Mediaset SpA's flagship channel Canale 5 has resumed broadcasting on Sky Italia SRL after being out of the Sky PLC unit's lineup for three years, Broadband TV News reports. Sky Italia is also bringing back other thematic channels from Mediaset.

* Telefónica SA unit Telefónica Emisiones SAU has issued a €1 billion bond in the Euro market, which will mature Sept. 11, 2025, Telecompaper reports, citing a statement to Spanish regulator Comisión Nacional del Mercado de Valores.

EASTERN EUROPE

* Orange Romania has boosted the share capital of its mobile payments company Orange Money by about 23 million Romanian lei, Telecompaper reports, citing Ziarul Financiar. The additional share capital will be used for the expansion of Orange Money's operations.

* The Russian government has urged 10% of viewers in the country who still depend on analogue TV to switch to new TV sets or set-top boxes before the expected analogue switchoff in January 2019, Broadband TV News reports, citing TASS.

FEATURED NEWS

Ericsson, Sprint ink global IoT partnership; Nokia secures €500M loan for 5G R&D: Ericsson and Sprint teamed up for a global internet of things initiative, while Nokia obtained a €500 million loan to be used for research and development on 5G.

FEATURED RESEARCH

Wireless Investor: APT panelists talk harmonization of 700 MHz for mobile in ASEAN: Panelists at the APT Symposium on Spectrum Management in Manila highlighted how harmonization efforts for the 700 MHz band in ASEAN can be a testing ground for best practices on harmonizing other spectrum bands for 5G.

Economics of Internet: OTT in Asia-Pacific: Current state of the market: Kagan rounds up the over-the-top services in the Asia-Pacific that have been newly added to our OTT Services & Devices database.

Anne Freier, Sylvia Edwards Davis, Koen Pijnappels and Esben Svendsen contributed to this report.

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