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Amazon to invest €500M in Italy; KPN sues FOX unit

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Bundling fixed & mobile services is still a popular strategy for operators in Western Europe especially in Portugal and Spain

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Amazon to invest €500M in Italy; KPN sues FOX unit

TOP NEWS

*Amazon.com Inc. isset to announce a €150 million investment to build a second storage andlogistics center in Italy, Reuters reports,citing a source close to the matter. The facility, expected to open in 2017, isreportedly the first in a series of investments worth at least €500 million toback Italy's digital turnaround plan.

*KPN NV filed alawsuit against 21st Century FoxInc.'s Eredivisie Media & Marketing CV regarding a newdistribution agreement for pay TV channel FOX Sports, TotaalTV reports.KPN wants to offer its customers Dutch Eredivisie broadcasts, but the currentagreement with Eredivisie Media & Marketing expires Aug. 1, and renewalnegotiations have stalled.

*TF1 Group said in a statementthat Thierry Thuillier will be its new CEO, effective Aug. 16. Further,Jean-François Mulliez was appointed COO.

AND IRELAND

*British broadcaster UKTV, a joint venture between andBritish BroadcastingCorp. unit BBCWorldwide Ltd. inked a multiyear broadcast services deal with Ericsson.The deal includes playout services for all of UKTV's 10 channels, as well asmedia management for video-on-demand platforms such as UKTV Play.

*Vodafone Group Plc'sBritish unit expandedits 4G roaming services to more destinations, now totaling 101. The newdestinations include Argentina, Bahamas, Chile, Iran, India, Jamaica andPakistan.

*Several BritishTelecom broadband and Plusnet customers were still unable to accessInternet services July 21, as the British telco struggles with power issues fora second day in a row, The Guardianof London reports.The company reportedly said Docklands-based Telehouse North, one of its Internetconnection partners, was experiencing power failure, causing the serviceoutage.   

, SWITZERLAND ANDASUTRIA

*Unister Holding GmbH's travel subsidiaries also filed for insolvency, followingthe German Internet company's announcement that it had gone intoadministration, accordingto Focus. On July 18, the company confirmed that insolvency would only hit thecore business Unister Holding. The following day, travel portal Urlaubstoursfollowed and on July 21, the entire travel business Unister Travel announcedinsolvency.

*German radio station Radio Hamburg CEO Carsten Neitzel is joining commercialcompetitor NDR as marketing manager this December, Horizont reports.Patrick Bernstein will replace him at Radio Hamburg as co-CEO.

*According to data from German media commission Verbands Privater Rundfunk undTelemedien, or VPRT, German consumers spent €2.5 billion on pay TV andvideo-on-demand services in 2015. This represents an increase of 12% comparedto 2014, reportsHandelsblatt.

*Orange SA andNokia Corp. saidthey achieved an optical transmission of 250 Gbps per wavelength over 870 kmbetween Warsaw and Wroclaw. The rate was achieved using 's existing networkinfrastructure.

*TF1 Group is reporting2016 first-half revenue growth of 4.5% and a current operating profit of €57.5million, down €39.8 million compared to same period in 2015. Group advertisingrevenue dropped 0.6% to €770.1 million and revenue from other activities was at€255.1 million, up 23.8%.

*Altice NV confirmedthe reorganization of its international media and content division, to be ledby CEO Alain Weill. Appointments were as follows: Damien Bernet as deputy CEO,Bernard Mourad as head of business development, Nicolas Rotkoff as head ofchannels distribution and sport rights acquisition, Frank Melloul as CEO of i24News and Nora Melhli as head of original creation and non-linear content.

*SFR launcheda free iOS and Android app called SFR Ma Box, a self-management solution andself-diagnosis tool that allows clients to control their box in real time fromtheir smartphones. SFR customers can check the status of their box and networkat any time, perform a self-diagnosis in the event of a technical malfunction,test the line and track the progress of line activation.

, BELGIUM ANDLUXEMBOURG

*Tele2 Netherlands HoldingNV gained 57,000 new customers over the second quarter of 2016,reportedly a result of large investments in its 4G network. During the sameperiod, the investments led to a €11.5 million loss and a 5% revenue increaseof Tele2's Dutchunit, FD reports.

*The Belgian parliament voted to ban anonymous SIM cards to block communicationbetween terrorists and criminals, Techzine reports.As a result, Belgians will soon be required to show a valid ID when buying aprepaid SIM card, and register prepaid cards they already have.

*Belgian mobile network operators Proximus, Orange, and Telenet's BASE made the government an offer to invest€15 million in Walloon networks, in exchange for dropping the tax on mobilemasts, which is equal to the investment amount, Telecompaper reports.The operators' investment will help improve coverage, especially in ruralareas. Telenet is a unit of Liberty Global plc.

NORDIC COUNTRIES

*Spotify Ltd. may berequired to develop a new business model ahead of plans to take the Swedishmusic streaming company public, reportsDI Digital. Spotify, reportedly valued at almost 70 billion Swedish kronor, hasa track-record marked by losses rather than operating profits.

*Telia Co. AB saw itsshare price drop 4% in the wake of second quarter 2016 earnings that werelargely in line with market expectations, DagensIndustri reports.Telia being investigated by the Netherlands and the U.S. regarding allegedillegal bribes made to secure mobile licenses in Uzbekistan.

SOUTHERN EUROPE

*BeIN SPORTS and Mediapro are eyeing an over-the-top for their new Spanish channelbeIN La Liga, Rapid TV News reports.The channel is currently available only via pay TV operators in the country, asthe companies seek OTT partnerships.

*R Cable rolled out 4Gservices under the mobilR brand, Telecompaper reports,citing Xataka Móvil. The service will be initially available only to the Spanishregional operator's new customers.

EASTERN EUROPE

*Orange Slovakia introduced a new service that allows business customers toremotely manage their employees' mobile devices, Telecompaper reports.The service aims to bring safety and controlled access to corporate data viathe management of equipment, documents and mobile apps.

*Ukrainian operator Vega struck a deal with Ericsson to upgrade its DWDM fibernetwork via the use of the latter's SPO 1400 system. The two-year upgradeproject is expected to improve the network's reliability and data transmissionspeed, Telecompaper reports.

*The Czech government approved the strategy for the transition of the country'sdigital terrestrial TV system to the DVB-T2 standard by Feb. 1, 2021, BroadbandTV News reports.The transition, which will begin in the autumn, is expected to cost thegovernment up to 1.05 billion Czech koruny.

FEATURED NEWS

: The newest Star Trek titleshould open at the top of box offices, but not as strong as previous titles inthe franchise.

: Despite the company inking live-streaming deals withthe NFL, NBA and others, many still measure Twitter by the amount of new users.

: S&P Global MarketIntelligence presents a weekly rundown of executive changes in the media andcommunications industries.

: Launched in France earlier this month,Molotov is a TV content aggregator that aims to replace the traditional cablebox, according to Jean-David Blanc, co-founder and CEO of online video startup.

FEATURED RESEARCH

: Evidencecontinues to mount that the 600 MHz forward auction will have to run multiplestages and settle for a lower spectrum clearing target to get wireless bidderson the same page as broadcast sellers, whose first ask would require buyers tospend well over $87 billion.

: The biggest pay-per-view event ofall time, Mayweather vs. Pacquiao (4.6 million buys), combined with UFC'sbanner year to result in more than $1 billion in industry revenues for arecord-breaking 2015.

: Broadcast deal volume reached $728.9million in the second quarter.

: The second week of July brought anotherspinoff related to the merger of Nexstar Broadcasting Group and Media General.

: SNL Kagan's latestquarterly presentation report examining industry trends and data for the U.S.multichannel sector.

RECENT EARNINGS

: On the same day that DISH reported its largest quarterlysubscriber losses on record, AT&T's DIRECTV said it continued to addsubscribers in the second quarter.

: Even though DISH's pay TV subscriber numbers are shrinking,the company's profits are growing.         

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.