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Rakuten TV in Europe; Axel Springer investment; TIM chairman race


* Rakuten Inc.'s video-on-demand service, Rakuten TV, is launching a free, ad-supported channel in Europe as it looks to expand in the region. Alongside an existing mix of rental and download titles, users can access the free section within the company's newly redesigned streaming app home to Hollywood movies and exclusive shows.

* The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, through CPPIB Europe Sàrl committed an investment of at least €500 million in Traviata I Sàrl, a KKR & Co. Inc.-owned holding company that is leading the public tender offer for shares in German media company Axel Springer SE. The investment will take place in the coming months and is subject to regulatory approvals and the deal's closing.

* Former Bank of Italy director general Salvatore Rossi is the front-runner to succeed Fulvio Conti as chairman of Telecom Italia SpA, Reuters reports, citing a source. Rossi was reportedly ahead of the race against former Italian antitrust chief Antonio Catricala.


* China's Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. managed to win support from several mobile operators in Europe to support their 5G rollout, despite increased scrutiny in the region, Reuters reports. Huawei said half of its 65 commercial deals are with European clients.


* Towers operator Helios Towers PLC priced its public listing in London at £1.15 per share, the lower end of the range earlier set at £1.15 to £1.45. The IPO values the company's total equity value at about £1.15 billion.

* DNEG Ltd., a London-based provider of special effects for film and TV content, is considering raising £150 million through a public listing in London, Bloomberg News reports, citing a statement. The company is seeking capital that it will use to improve its brand awareness and prominence.

* CityFibre Infrastructure Holdings PLC is opening an industrywide consultation on how alternative full-fiber infrastructure builders would be able to help customers switch over to fiber services from legacy copper networks. The consultation will allow telecom operators to share their thoughts on what would be needed to support legacy services on the new fiber networks.

* British Broadcasting Corp. unit BBC Studios signed deals covering more than 800 hours of content to various clients across Africa over the past six months. The agreements were struck with Seychelles Broadcasting Co., Kenya's MediaMax Network Ltd., Vubiquity Group Ltd., South Africa's Showmax, pay TV channel MNET and South African Broadcasting Corp. Ltd.'s SABC 3.

* Irish telco Eir launched GoMo, a mobile virtual network operator that will offer unlimited calls, texts and data for €10 per month to its first 100,000 customers, Dublin's The Irish Times reports. GoMo also reportedly plans to offer only 30-day SIM-only plans.

* Sky Ltd.'s news service Sky News is launching a new pop-up channel dubbed Sky News: Brexit-Free on Oct. 16. The channel will offer coverage of national and global stories to viewers "without any fears of hearing about Brexit," according to a statement.


* The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board expressed support for Sunrise Communications Group AG's planned capital increase to fund the Swiss operator's acquisition of Liberty Global PLC unit UPC Schweiz, Reuters reports.

* Germany's Federal Network Agency continues to push ahead with the revision of safety documents for the provision of its 5G mobile network, Reuters reports. The draft regulation stipulates that data processing system components will require certification and that supplier trustworthiness must be proven.

* Danish market research company AudienceProject plans to launch offices in Berlin, Kress reports. Sedat Polat, formerly of Zalando SE, will head the new office.

* German media company Südwestdeutsche Medienholding GmbH will enable closer collaboration among its daily regional newspapers, with a heavier focus on digital products, Horizont reports.


* French Junior Economy Minister Agnes Pannier-Runacher criticized Inc.'s Amazon Web Services, saying time is running out for Europe to wean itself off the e-commerce giant's cloud computing services, Reuters reports.

* France is pushing for the incoming European Commission to create a digital platform regulator, with digital services being given a special status modeled after those in the banking sector, Reuters reports.

* Mediawan SA announced the acquisition of Radar Films for an undisclosed price. Radar Films will continue to develop feature films in French and English, as well as, for the first time, start the production on several French and international series.

* Vivendi SA-owned video platform Dailymotion SA is partnering with RTK to integrate its header bidding solution onto The move will allow advertisers higher reach and increase ad performance.

* Alphabet Inc. unit Google LLC is making its Nest Hub Max device available in France. The Google Assistant smart display will be available at the Google Store from Nov. 5 for €229, as well as online at Boulanger and Fnac-Darty.


* ABN AMRO Bank NV launched mobile payment service Apple Pay, allowing the bank's customers to make purchases in stores, apps and websites through Apple Inc. devices.

* Dutch premium film service Film1 again started offering an over-the-top subscription for on-demand films, after it stopped the service on July 1, TotaalTV reports. The Film1 subscription can be purchased independently from a TV distributor via the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store.

* Dutch State Secretary of Economic Affairs and Climate Mona Keijzer will not intervene in the current conflict between KPN NV and the works council of its unit XS4All Internet BV, TotaalTV reports. KPN earlier announced the integration of XS4All within its main brand name as part of its one-brand strategy, after which the Works Council, employees and some of XS4All's customers expressed their discontent for these plans.


* Arild Hustad joined Nortel A/S as the newly established mobile telephone company's chairman, reports. Hustad is the former CEO of Oslo-headquartered Link Mobility Group ASA.

* Tobii Pro AB launched its Tobii Pro Fusion eye tracker product, which enables researchers to better study human behavioral patterns. The new offering comprises a fully portable eye tracker device custom-developed for scientific research.

* Telenor ASA launched a mandatory public cash tender offer to buy all of the issued and outstanding shares in DNA Oyj. The offer applies to shares that are not held by DNA or its subsidiaries.

* Norway plans to begin the phase-out of geographic links to landline numbers in January 2020, telecom regulator Nkom said. The watchdog launched a consultation with consumer and industry stakeholders, with comments accepted until Nov. 22.


* Italian public broadcaster RAI reported a profit of €3.3 million for the first half of 2019, a turnaround from a year-ago loss of under €5 million, Advanced Television reports. The positive result was attributed to a campaign against non-payment of the TV license fee, state support and the sale of digital TV patent royalties.

* The Spanish government will provide €10 million of state subsidies to each of the country's TV operators, in a bid to help finance their costs in the ongoing digital migration, Advanced Television reports.


* Vodafone Magyarország is planning to roll out its over-the-top service in its home market of Hungary in the near future, Broadband TV News reports, citing HWSW. The Vodafone Group PLC unit plans to not require its customers to have an internet subscription, as content from the platform will be accessible via a mobile app.

* Mobile TeleSystems PJSC completed the creation of a backup teleport in Kazan, Russia, which would support the distribution of the mobile operator's satellite TV service, Broadband TV News reports, citing Telecom Daily.


5G Focus: Nokia's launches; Google's smartphone; BT's rollout: 5G Focus is a weekly global feature including notable 5G trials, launches, use cases and major equipment supply contracts. It will also feature in-depth analysis of strategies, expansion plans, business models and other related initiatives.

Data Dispatch: Google unveils new Pixel phones, laptop, other devices: Alphabet's Google unit debuted a revamped Pixel smartphone with advanced features, a new smart home hub device, Chromebook laptop, wireless earbuds and other updates at an Oct. 15 event.


Global Multichannel: European TV groups adopting flexible programming spend: Euro channel groups are adopting a holistic approach to programming spend for return on investment.

Technology: Cloud gaming's annual revenue passes $3.5B in 5-year outlook: Alphabet, Microsoft and Sony are primed to push cloud gaming to an inflection point, but internet infrastructure constraints and the gravitational pull of the traditional console market will likely keep upside in check.

Anne Freier, Amanda Kelly, Charlotte van Hek and Gerard O'Dwyer contributed to this report.

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