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Vodafone to pay €18.4B for Liberty assets; Deutsche Telekom warns of monopoly


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Vodafone to pay €18.4B for Liberty assets; Deutsche Telekom warns of monopoly


* Vodafone Group PLC has agreed to acquire Liberty Global plc's operations in Germany, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Romania for €18.4 billion. Once the transaction closes, Vodafone will own Liberty Global unit Unitymedia as well as UPC Czech Republic, UPC Hungary and UPC Romania.

* Deutsche Telekom AG CEO Timotheus Höttges spoke out against Vodafone's planned acquisition of Liberty Global assets in Germany as he told analysts that the deal would undermine the competitiveness of the German cable market.

* Liberty Global plc President and CEO Mike Fries rebuffed Deutsche Telekom AG's criticism that its decision to sell a range of European assets to Vodafone Group PLC would create a monopoly in the Germany cable market, saying the industry needs a "proper challenger."


* Uktv Media Ltd., a joint venture between BBC Studios and Scripps Networks Interactive Inc., will air five new series on Alibi and W as part of a deal with Walt Disney Co.'s U.K. unit. The series included in the deal are "Harrow," American Housewife," "The Assets, "Quantico" and "Code Black."

* Tencent Holdings Ltd. reached a memorandum of understanding with the U.K.'s Department of International Trade to develop film and television, high-end arts and gaming businesses, Tencent News reports. Tencent Penguin Pictures will sign a three-year deal with the British Broadcasting Corp. for coproduction, content creation, commercial licensing and marketing and distribution of documentaries.

* Glassdoor Inc. said its Irish operations will remain as before, after Recruit Holdings Co. Ltd. announced an agreement to acquire the jobs website, The Irish Times reports. Glassdoor currently has about 30 employees in its Dublin office.

* Witbe SA, a French monitoring services company, introduced a new subsidiary, Witbe Ltd., which will have an office in London. The office will house sales and pre-sales staff, engineers and project managers.


* Deutsche Telekom reported a 3.1% year-over-year jump in first-quarter revenue and a 6.6% increase in adjusted EBITDA.

* Unitymedia announced that its sales increased 9% to more than €636 million during the first quarter of 2018. Its business customer segment helped sustain growth of over 30%.

* German internet provider United Internet AG increased its turnover by 33.4% during the first quarter to €1.27 billion. The company said 270,000 new customer contracts had been added.

* ProSiebenSat.1 Media SE announced a 3% year-over-year decline in first-quarter revenue to €881 million. Adjusted EBITDA jumped 7% to €200 million.

* YouTube could be considered a perpetrator or accomplice in a dispute over the liability for infringements of rights on the platform, reports Handelsblatt. The case is in front of the German Bundesgerichtshof in Karlsruhe.


* Lagardère SCA has released information on the voting rights and shares that make up its share capital. As of April 30, the total number of shares is 131,133,286, while the number of theoretical voting rights is 177,631,784 and the number of exercisable voting rights is 173,270,176.

* Xavier Niel, the founder of Free and currently a 52.22% shareholder in Iliad, intends to transfer the majority of his 30,795,680 Iliad shares to the simplified joint stock company HoldCo, in which he will hold 100% of the capital and voting rights. In total, 29,605,872 of Niel's Iliad shares will be moved to the new control holding company, while holding 50.97% of Iliad's voting rights, according to Univers Freebox.


* Dutch technology company 24i Media has acquired Czech TV app Mautilus sro. The deal will give the Dutch company increased production capacity.

* VodafoneZiggo reported a 4% revenue decline to €972 million in the first quarter, and a decrease in quarterly operating income to €31 million compared to €54 million in the first quarter of 2017. The revenue decline is partly due to regulatory headwinds such as the new EU roaming regulations.

* Marnix Laurs will step down as director of content at KPN NV, effective June 1, Broadcasting Magazine reports. Laurs will reportedly become director of procurement value at KPN, while Thera van Steveninck will take his previous role.

* Dutch online TV provider Leaper Beheer must stop providing illegal URLs to TV shows, films and sports broadcasts, the Court of Limburg ruled in a case started by antipiracy organization Stichting Brein. If Leaper does not stop its illegal activities it could be fined €1.3 million.


* Dagens Næringsliv reports that the listening figures of the artists Beyoncé and Kanye West have been manipulated by streaming service Tidal to seem larger than they really are. The newspaper reportedly gained access to large amounts of internal data from Tidal, which was analyzed by scientists at Norwegian technical university NTNU. Tidal rejected the claims and said that the data is stolen and incomplete.

* The Swedish arm of Scandinavian media group Schibsted ASA is in conflict with Alphabet Inc. unit Google Inc. over the U.S. company's new advertising policy linked to new data protection regulation General Data Protection Regulation, Breakit reports. Schibsted Sweden is worried that the new policy gives Google the right to use customer data, while the media is responsible for misuse.

* Telia Co. AB has brought a live 5G connection to an eSports event in Helsinki. The Finnish trial ysed a Nokia test base station operating on the 28GHz 5G frequency area.

* Finnish operator DNA's largest shareholder, Finda Telecoms Oy, has sold a large stake in the company. Its holding in DNA is down to 28.3%. According to a Vasabladet report, the shares had a market value of €138 million.


* AMC Networks Inc. has launched a mobile app to market its 14 pay TV channels in Spain, Advanced Television reports. The app, called MicroCanales, is available on both iOS and Android mobile platforms and will feature TV series, documentaries and films.

* A Milan judge struck down a tender initiated by Spanish broadcaster Mediapro for the TV broadcast rights to matches from soccer league Serie A, Reuters reports, citing a judicial source. Ruling in favor of a legal challenge from Sky PLC unit Sky Italia SRL, the judge said the tender violated Italian antitrust regulations.

* Telefónica SA will pay an €8.5 million fine after Spanish regulator Comisión Nacional de la Competencia ruled that the telecom giant violated its obligations as a wholesale broadband and terminal leased line provider, Broadband TV News reports, citing a statement. The case stems from the Basque government's award of a contract to Telefónica, whose bid could not have been matched by cable operator Euskaltel SA.

* Telecom Italia SpA has not received official notification regarding the Italian government's decision to impose a €74.3 million fine over the telco's supposed violation of its notification obligation in relation to the "golden power" decree. TIM has already appealed the fine, which is related to a supposed failure by its top shareholder Vivendi SA to communicate that it had de facto control over the telco, Reuters reports.


* The Croatian Competition Agency has greenlit Slovenia Broadband Sarl's proposed acquisition of Zagreb commercial TV channel NOVA TV dd. The watchdog said the transaction would not have significant effects on competition in the country's TV broadcasting market.

* Discovery Inc. and Polish broadcaster TVN SA named Piotr Korycki as management board president and managing director, following the integration of their respective management structures in Poland, Broadband TV News reports, citing Jim Samples, previously president of TVN's management board, has been transferred to the companies' supervisory board.


Altice USA CEO sees Sprint/T-Mobile deal as 'net positive' for cable company: Given Altice USA's full mobile virtual network operator agreement with Sprint, Altice USA Chairman and CEO Dexter Goei said of Sprint and T-Mobile US, "Clearly, we would benefit from any incremental positive things that can happen in the merger."

The Daily Dose: AT&T confirms payments to Trump attorney; Fox CEO may exit after Disney deal: An AT&T spokeswoman confirmed payments to Donald Trump attorney Michael Cohen's consulting firm, while Fox CEO James Murdoch may not be part of the newly created entity if the company's proposed deal with Disney closes.


Technology: Cisco's sale of video software division reflects challenging pay TV landscape: Last week, Cisco announced the $1 billion sale of its service provider video software solutions business to Permira Funds.


T-Mobile contribution to Deutsche Telekom earnings hit by currency headwinds: T-Mobile US-majority owner Deutsche Telekom said the U.S. company's contribution to its first-quarter net revenue fell 5.9%, or €1.2 billion lower to €8.46 billion, as unfavorable exchange rate effects weighed on its performance.

Altice USA net loss deepens despite revenue growth: The cable company recorded a net loss attributable to company stockholders of $129.0 million, or 17 cents per share, compared to an attributable net loss of $76.4 million, or 12 cents per share, in the year-ago period.

SoftBank's profits buoyed by tech investments: SoftBank's profits grew on the back of a number of tech investments as CEO Son confirmed that Walmart has reached a deal with Flipkart.

Anne Freier, Amanda Kelly, Koen Pijnappels and Esben Svendsen contributed to this report.

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