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Telecom Italia names de Puyfontaine chairman; A+E Networks to buy out German JV

TOP NEWS

* Telecom Italia SpA's board of directors appointed Vivendi CEO Arnaud Roy de Puyfontaine as its executive chairman, the two companies said in separate news releases. Former chairman Giuseppe Recchi has been appointed deputy chairman, while Flavio Cattaneo remains as the company's CEO.

* A+E Networks is buying NBCUniversal International's stake in a joint venture that operated A+E Networks Germany, Deadline.com reports. The deal, financial terms of which were not disclosed, is subject to regulatory approval. NBCUniversal International is a unit of Comcast Corp.

* SoftBank Group Corp.'s OneWeb satellite tech unit and Intelsat SA are set to terminate their merger and related share purchase agreement on June 2. "We are disappointed that our bondholders were unwilling to accept the terms of the exchange offers presented over the course of this process," Intelsat CEO Stephen Spengler said in a statement.

PAN-EUROPEAN

* EU antitrust regulators are preparing to fine Alphabet Inc. unit Google Inc. for allegedly altering search results in favor of its own shopping service, Reuters reports, citing two people with knowledge of the matter. The conclusion of the seven-year investigation by the European Commission into complaints of anti-competitive practices at Google could trigger a fine as large as $9 billion under EU antitrust rules, given the size of Google's global revenues.

UK AND IRELAND

* The Irish High Court directed U.S. government lawyers to explain how U.S. intelligence agencies failed to comply with surveillance limits, including those involving Facebook Inc. accounts, Dublin's Irish Independent reports. The move follows a case taken by Irish Data Protection Commissioner Helen Dixon regarding the validity of a European Commission decision on EU-U.S. data transfer channels.

* Google submitted plans for its new 1 million-square-foot London headquarters, the construction of which is expected to start in 2018, London's The Guardian reports. The building will stand 11 stories tall, designed by Bjarke Ingels Group and Heatherwick Studios.

* British Telecom said it struck a deal with the International Hockey Federation to broadcast the men's and women's hockey world cups in 2018. The deal will also enable BT Sport to broadcast the World League semifinals and finals.

GERMANY, SWITZERLAND AND AUSTRIA

* ProSiebenSat.1 Media SE unit 7Sports and DOSB New Media GmbH-owned Sportdeutschland TV launched an app called YouSport. The app will enable sports fans to produce highlight clips from youth and amateur games and share them online using social media. The top videos will be presented on German sports site Ran.de.

FRANCE

* Altice NV will launch its new cookery channel My Cuisine on June 12, Les Echos reports. The multimedia project also includes a print magazine, a mobile app and a dedicated website. The 24-hour cooking channel will be available in France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Portugal, Switzerland and French-speaking Africa.

* Vincent Bolloré announced at a general meeting of the Bolloré group on Thursday that his son would take on more responsibilities at Vivendi SA, CB News reports. Yannick Bolloré is currently chairman and CEO of Havas Group, and a member of the board of Vivendi.

NETHERLANDS, BELGIUM AND LUXEMBOURG

* John de Mol still intends to acquire Telegraaf Media Groep NV with his investment vehicle Talpa Holding, even though TMG has accepted a joint offer by Belgian media group Mediahuis and VP Exploitatie, Algemeen Dagblad reports. A Talpa lawyer reportedly said at a TMG shareholder meeting that De Mol's intentions have not changed, and that a Talpa offer is currently awaiting approval by the Authority for the Financial Markets.

* Microsoft Corp. opened a quantum computing research lab in cooperation with Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, the university said in a news release. The lab, called Station Q Delft, will be supervised by Professor Leo Kouwenhoven.

* VodafoneZiggo and KPN NV have abolished roaming rates for data usage of Dutch customers within the EU, in anticipation of the European regulation banning roaming rates within the EU that will go into effect on June 15, GSM/HD reports. Tele2 Netherlands will reportedly stop charging customers for roaming on June 8, while T-Mobile Netherlands has announced to change its policy on June 13.

* Tele2 Netherlands will not stop taking into account a new customer's home address in the credit check, Tweakers reports, quoting a Tele2 spokesman. Consumer rights association Consumentenbond earlier requested Tele2 to stop this practice, arguing it is not fair for consumers to be assessed by their neighbors' payment behavior.

NORDIC COUNTRIES

* Spotify AB has no plans for a public listing, co-founder and vice chair Martin Lorentzon told Sveriges Radio. Lorentzon, who has served as chairman in the company, said there is no stock market introduction planned for Spotify, and that this is just a rumor in the media.

* Leif Johansson is likely to be replaced as chairman of Ericsson AB, now that Cevian Capital is close to becoming the company's largest owner, Dagens Industri reports, citing sources. Johansson has been heavily criticized for his handling of Ericsson's business since he took over as chairman in 2011. Cevian Capital has acquired more than 5% of the shares in Ericsson.

* Telia Co. AB unit Telia Sweden said that it had failed to reach a new distribution agreement with SBS Discovery Media, and that customers in Sweden and Finland would no longer have access to the broadcaster's channels. The channels will be replaced with new content, including HBO Nordic, Telia said.

* Google acquired more than 70 hectares of land near the Danish town of Fredericia, Information reports. Google said that it had no specific plans for the land at the time being, but that it wants to make sure than it can build more data centers in Europe. Both Facebook and Apple Inc. are building data centers in Denmark.

SOUTHERN EUROPE

* Turkcell confirmed that its $4.2 billion lawsuit against MTN Group Ltd. will push through in a South African court, Reuters reports. The Turkish operator accused MTN of using bribery and wrongful influence to clinch an Iran license that was originally given to Turkcell.

* Spanish commercial broadcaster Atresmedia signed a deal with Cellnex Telecom SA to air the Champions League finals in 4K and free-to-air via streaming and digital terrestrial TV, Advanced Television reports. The program will be available in Madrid, Barcelona and Seville.

EASTERN EUROPE

* Play-branded wireless operator P4 is scheduled to launch an IPO on the Warsaw Stock Exchange this summer, Telecompaper reports, citing Rzeczpospolita. The offering is expected to be at least 2.5 billion Polish zlotys. The value of the Polish operator is expected to reach aboout 7 billion to 8 billion zlotys.

* Romania Cable Systems & Romania Data Systems-owned platform Digi TV rolled out Start, a new package that offers 32 direct-to-home channels from Digi and 23 HD channels from its internet offering Digi2Go, Broadband TV News reports.

* RTL Group's Hungarian unit will rebrand its cable channel Film+2 to RTL Gold beginning July 3, Broadband TV News reports. As part of the rebranding, RTL Hungary will launch a new program structure, concept and offerings.

* Russia's Ministry of Telecom and Mass Communications offered provision of social network and search engine services in Thailand, The Nation reports. Thailand's National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission Secretary General Takorn Tantasith said he will notify Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha of the suggestion.

FEATURED NEWS

European Commission VP says tech progress will create more jobs than it destroys: Rapid strides in automation, artificial intelligence and digitization will result in job losses, but slowing technological progress is not the answer, said a vice president of the European Commission.

Hires and Fires: US Media & Comm management moves through May 31: Rackspace, TDS Telecom: S&P Global Market Intelligence presents a weekly rundown of executive changes in the media and communications industries.

Cannes 2017: TV series gain wider acceptance: S&P Global Market Intelligence provides a three-part roundup of key industry news from the annual Cannes Film Festival, which took place May 17-28 in Cannes, France. Today, part 3: the U.S.

FEATURED RESEARCH

Wireless Investor: Sharing is caring in European mobile network densification: European operators at the SCWS World summit discussed strategies to expand mobile coverage through enhanced equipment and spectrum-sharing arrangements.

Amanda Kelly, Anne Freier, Koen Pijnappels and Esben Svendsen contributed to this report. The Daily Dose has an editorial deadline of 7 a.m. London time. Some external links may require a subscription.