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EU lawmakers approve new data rules; EC nears Google antitrust suit


MediaTalk Episode 27


Insight Weekly: Bank boards lag on gender parity; future of office in doubt; US LNG exports leap


MediaTalk | Episode 26: Video game industry growth softens amid post-pandemic hurdles


Insight Weekly: Job growth faces hurdles; shale firms sit on cash pile; Africa's lithium future

EU lawmakers approve new data rules; EC nears Google antitrust suit


*The European Parliament gaveits final approval on a new set of data protection rules that will give EUcitizens greater control over their private information and provide clarity forbusinesses via a single reference for data concerns across the 28-member bloc.The new rules include provisions on right to be forgotten, right to transferdata to another provider, right to know when one's data has been hacked, rightto understand privacy policies in clear and understandable language.

Thenew regulation, which will replace the current data protection directivecreated in 1995, will take effect 20 days after publication in the EU OfficialJournal, while the provisions will be directly applicable to member states twoyears after this date. The provisions of the new law will only partially applyto the U.K. and Ireland, due to their special status on justice and homeaffairs legislation, while Denmark has the prerogative to enact the regulationinto national law within six months after its final adoption.

*The European Commission is close to filing formal antitrust charges againstAlphabet Inc. unitGoogle Inc. inrelation to the company's Android operating system, the Financial Times (London) reports.The EC recently sent information requests to complainants with 24-hourdeadlines, four lawyers involved in the case reportedly said. The EC couldrelease its statement of objections against Google as early as April 20,according to a person close to the Commission. The EC its probe into Google's Android OSin April 2015 to determine whether the company prevented rivals from creatingcompeting technologies.  


*British BroadcastingCorp.'s commercial arm BBC Worldwide Ltd. acquireda 10% stake in Original Talent Ltd., the newly formed parent company of Britishindie Cuba Pictures and talent agency Curtis Brown. Following the deal, BBCWorldwide will have one representative each on the boards of Original Talentand Cuba Pictures. BBC Worldwide also extended its partnership with CubaPictures, gaining first look rights to all the latter's TV output for five moreyears, until 2021.

*Canada's Entertainment OneLtd. denied reports that ITV Plc is offering to buy the company, saying it has not been approachedby the British broadcaster, Reuters reports.The Toronto-based content distributor is responsible for the AcademyAward-winning film "Spotlight," and owns the rights to children'scartoon "Peppa Pig."

*Sky plc signed a dealwith Time WarnerInc.'s TurnerBroadcasting System Inc. for the exclusive streaming rights to boxsets of Turner's shows "Adventure Time" and "Gumball,"Digital TV Europe reports.Under the agreement, many other shows will be added to the Sky Kids appincluding "The Regular Show," the upcoming reboot of "PowerpuffGirls," past seasons of "The Amazing World of Gumball," as wellas older shows like "Scooby Doo," "Tom & Jerry" and"Looney Tunes." The deal is reportedly long term and will covercontent from Cartoon Network channel, Boomerang and Cartoonito.

*BBC renewed and expanded its contract with Intelsat SA to distribute standard definition and HDcontent across several continents. Under the multiyear agreement, BBC WorldNews will use four of Intelsat's premier video neighborhoods and theIntelsatOne terrestrial network to distribute content in the Americas and Asia,according to a news release.


*German broadcaster ProSiebenSat.1Media SE's Maxdome video-on-demand service will produce its firstseries in a bid to compete with Netflix Inc. and Inc., Handelsblattreports.Maxdome, which launched in 2006, has a significant budget to make its ownseries, managing director Marvin Lange reportedly said. He did not specifyexact production costs or give a completion date for the series.

*Vodafone Group Plc'sVodafone Germany increased the download speed of its entry-level cable internettariff to 32 Mbps from 25 Mbps, the company said in a statement.The price for the tariff, which is called Internet & PhoneKabel 32, remains unchanged at €19.99 for the first 24 months. Vodafone Germanyalso said it cut the price of its Internet & Phone Kabel 100 tariff by €5to €34.99 a month.

*ZDF's editorial board called on the German broadcaster to re-upload a deletedexplicit video about Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to its medialibrary, Der Spiegel reports.The committee made the request in a letter delivered to employees at thecompany's head office in Mainz. ZDF's head of programming Norbert Himmler hadordered the video, in which comedian Jan Böhmermann reads out a poem abusingErdogan, to be deleted from the library after the broadcaster's lawyersconcluded that the poem is a form of abusive criticism that is forbidden underGerman law.

*RTL Group needs totap an entire new generation of viewers with online video, co-CEO AnkeSchäferkordt said in an interviewwith Die Welt. RTL has about 81,000YouTube talents making online videos through its three networks BroadbandTV,StyleHaul and Divimove and is one of the biggest web video providers in theworld, she said.


*France's Competition Authority will render its decision on a possible beINSports and Canal PlusSA TV rights agreement by the end of May, reportsLes Echos. Didier Quillot, the chiefexecutive of France's Ligue de Football Professionnel and former head of OrangeFrance and LagardereSCA's Lagardère Active, reportedly made the statement on April 14.The Competition Authority launched a consultation in mid-March on thefeasibility of exclusive distribution of BeIN Sports in France by Canal+, whichis owned by VivendiSA.

*Orange is increasing its prices, reflecting price hikes of and 's , reportsLes Echos. Orange is reportedlyoffering enhanced content offerings and improved quality of service to justifythe increase. A new price war among French telecoms providers was expected aftertalks for an Orange- Bouygues Telecom merger collapsed, but instead the trendis moving toward higher prices, especially with fixed internet, according tothe report.

*Orange deployed over100,000 kilometers of fiber optic cable in football stadiums for UEFA Euro2016, reportsLes Echos. During the sports event,there will be 4G access in all 10 stadiums and a data transmission rate of morethan 2 terabits per second. More than 680 wireless access points will alsoprovide 110,000 simultaneous connections in stadium fan zones.

*France Télévisions could appoint French journalist Stéphane Dubun as head ofits new TV channel France Info, reportsLe Figaro. The new public news channelwill be launched on Sept. 1. Dubun began his career in as a reporter for France2, later moving to France 3, before becoming editor-in-chief and generalsecretary of France 24.


*Sanoma Corp.'s SanomaNetherlands sold its titles Beau Monde,Happy in Shape and Marie Claire to Dutch publisher PijperMedia, Villamedia reports.Pijper Media is transferring the three titles to its Amsterdam office, where Grazia, Golfers Magazine, Nieuwe Revu,Panorama and Playboy are produced. Pijper Media reportedly said the new brandswill strengthen its position in the glossy market.

*The Dutch government wants to allow intelligence agencies such as the AIVD tointercept telephone, email and chat traffic via cable. In advance, they mustask permission from a special committee, TotaalTV reports.The government plans to present a new law proposal to ensure safety and toprevent terror.

*Shareholders of KPNNV approved a repayment of €1.2 billion in capital, equal to 28euro cents per share, at the annual meeting of the Dutch telco. They alsoapproved with a dividend of 1.14 cents per share for 2015, Telecompaper reported.

*Elmer Wiemer, managing director of Reggefiber, has been appointed executivevice president consumer operations at KPN, Telecompaper reports.Since Jan. 1, Reggefiber has been fully integrated into KPN.


*NHST Media Group sold its online business news service TDN Finans to theNorwegian market analysis company Infront A/S, and Finland-based energy marketdata company Intstream Oy to local buyer Energia Oy. Dagens Næringsliv, which is part of NHST Media's newspaperportfolio, reportsthat the seller expects to earn a total of 19 million Norwegian kroner from thetwo divestments. Infront already owns online news service Direkt Ab in Sweden.

*Ericsson AB secured acontract with NBC Olympics to deliver video contribution and distributionsolutions to support its production for the Rio 2016 Olympics, Ericsson said in a statement. Under theagreement, Ericsson will provide a range of its video processing solutions andadvanced modular receivers to NBC Olympics, which is a division of NBC SportsGroup. The Rio 2016 games will run from Aug. 5 to Aug. 21. The agreement willinclude expert onsite 24/7 event support provided by Ericsson engineers. NBCSports Group is a unit of ComcastCorp.'s NBCUniversalMedia LLC.

*Nokia Corp. andAccenture Inc. established the Nokia Accenture Business Group to supportenterprises to accelerate their transition to modern digital networks, Nokia saidin a company statement. The co-venture also aims to help service providers andcompanies capitalize on embedded operational benefits within their operationsand businesses in order to release new commercial opportunities.

*YLE rejected Finnish Finance Minister Alexander Stubb's request that the publicbroadcaster provide police and tax authorities with Panama Papers' materials, reportsKauppalehti. Stubb justified therequest stating that any materials that YLE had access to could help police andtax officials in their Panama Papers-related investigations on possible taxevasion offenses by Finnish citizens and corporations. YLE is refusing to hand overany materials, contending that the operations of the network that collected theleaked information would be threatened if documents were released.

*The use of social media in Sweden increased by 30% over the past two years. Thefastest rate of growth is found in the 25 to 44-year age group, 's Telia AB saidin a statement.Telia AB said in a company statement. Telia reports that 60% of familyhouseholds in Sweden currently use mobile phones to conduct social networkfunctions on a daily basis. This is mainly done to stay in contact with friendsand family members.


*Spain will have six new digital terrestrial television channels by the end ofApril, Advanced Television reports.Mediaset Spain will reportedly debut its male-focused HD DTT channel Be Mad onApril 21, while Radio Blanca and Grupo Secuoya will launch Kiss TV and Ten,respectively, on April 28. Atresmedia has already launched Atreseries and 13TV, while a free-to-air sports network has yet to debut, according to thereport.

*Portuguese telecom watchdog ANACOM slapped a €15,000 fine on operatorCabovisão for failureto submit audit results in 2011, Telecompaper reports.The audit sought to verify whether procedures were followed regarding thecollection and monthly delivery to municipalities of municipal fees paid by thecompany in 2010 for rights of way. Cabovisão is appealing the fine before thecountry's Court of Competition, Regulation and Supervision.


* Three proposed new media laws will bepresented to the Polish parliament either at the end of April or the beginningof May, Broadband TV News reports,citing SATKurier. The first one will reportedly be a national media law thatwill transform public broadcasters such as TVP, Polskie Radio and the PolishPress Agency into national media on July 1, and lessen their commercialactivities. The second one reportedly seeks to implement a new license feecosting between 12 to 15 Polish zlotys a month, which will be charged alongsideelectricity bills starting Jan. 1, 2017. The third will be a law on regulationsimplementing the changes. The country's ruling conservative governmentfaced backlash acrossthe EU earlier this year for amending the Polish media law regarding stateappointees.

*Romania's RCS&RDSwill publicly float up to 25% stake in the company on the Bucharest bourseduring the second half of 2016, Telecompaper reports,citing The IPO will reportedly allow foreign minority shareholdersto divest their stakes in the company. The mandate for the deal, estimated tobe worth about €500 million, was given to a consortium composed of Citibank,Deutsche Bank and local brokerage firms BRD and Raiffeisen, according to thereport.

*Polish public broadcaster Telewizja Polska SA could soon add two additionalthematic channels to its portfolio. The channels, which will be called TVPNostalgia and TVP Zycie, will be part of the structure of TVP's second channel,TVP2, rather than distributed separately via a digital terrestrial televisionmultiplex, Broadband TV News reports,citing Presserwis. The broadcaster is still deciding whether to proceed withthe launch, according to the report.


: SNL Kagan sat down with PaulUnderwood, managing director of U.K.-based Thames Card Technology, to discussthe latest in mobile payments, including new entrants like Facebook.

: African-American-targeted TV Onehas inked a major syndication deal, securing the cable-exclusive rights toFOX's hit series, "Empire." The pact enables TV One to present thehip-hop drama in a promotional marathon ahead of its second-season finale inMay, before adding the first two campaigns to its lineup this summer.

: Disney's remake of a classic tale should energize boxoffices, which are floundering under the weight of several lackluster titles.

: SNL Kagan presents a weekly rundown ofexecutive changes in the media and communications industries.

: Already carrying regular-season ratings momentum, NBC SportsGroup's coverage of the NHL postseason may benefit from the absence of Canadianclubs.

: In this monthly feature, SNL Kaganprovides a roundup of news related to over-the-top, video-on-demand and otheronline video initiatives in different Asian markets.


: The domestic box office appears to beexperiencing some late-spring doldrums as weekly box office gross has droppedoff significantly over the past two weeks when compared with 2015.

: The U.S.residential telephone market offers a case study for mature cord cutting, withensconced wireline providers battling for customers but ultimately cedingground to consumers' deep attachment to their cell phones and the economics ofconsolidating to a single voice service.

: Growing traction for mobile e-commercesales and speedier delivery of e-commerce purchases helped drive the higher in 2015, with total U.S. e-commerce sales vaulting past the $300billion mark for the first time ever.

: Theopening discussions at the 2016 CAA World Congress of Sports underlined theshifting attitudes toward over-the-top platforms airing live sports on the sameday that Sling TV announced it would carry 21st Century Fox properties.

Amanda Kelly, PatrickWinters, Kees Pijnappels and Gerard O'Dwyer contributed to this report. TheDaily Dose has an editorial deadline of 7 a.m. London time. Some external linksmay require a subscription.