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Bolloré ups Vivendi stake; Vodafone launches Vodafone Pay in UK


* Bolloré Group announced it has raised its stake in Vivendi SA above the 20% threshold in shares and voting rights. Taking into account the double voting rights to be achieved by April 20, 2017, the Bolloré Group expects to hold at that date approximately 29% of Vivendi's votes.

* Vodafone UK launched its Vodafone Pay contactless payment service in the U.K., in partnership with PayPal, the British telco announced. Vodafone Pay, which can be used even when users' phones are switched off or out of battery, also works with the Transport for London network as well as on National Rail services in and around London which accept Oyster and contactless transactions.


* EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said that they are not probing into Google Inc.'s tax deals with European national authorities, Reuters reports. Vestager added that she wanted to build strong cases in relation to the European Commission's antitrust investigations against the Alphabet Inc. unit.


* South Korean public service broadcaster Arirang TV launched its HD feed on Sky plc in the U.K. and Ireland, Broadband TV News reports. The HD channel is supported by Orange SA's media solutions provider unit Globecast.

* Ofcom chief Sharon White said the British Broadcasting Corp. currently lacks diversity in its programming, the Financial Times of London reports. As Ofcom begins overseeing the public broadcaster in 2017, White identified drama, U.K-made content, kids' programs and news and current affairs as four areas the British media watchdog will initially focus on.


* IAC/InterActiveCorp's HomeAdvisor struck a deal to buy a controlling interest in German home services marketplace MyHammer Holding AG from Holtzbrinck Digital GmbH, according to a news release. HomeAdvisor will acquire Holtzbrinck Digital's stake of about 70% in MyHammer, as well as Holtzbrinck Digital's direct ownership stake in MyHammer's principal operating unit.

* Nemetschek, the German-headquartered construction software specialist has announced a profit growth of 20% until the end of 2016 to €341 million. According to Handelsblatt, the business has profited from its focus on international expansion.

* German media company Gruner + Jahr has combined its communications activities led by Head of Communications Frank Thomsen, according to German media magazine DWDL. The move is part of a larger plan to expand the firm's communications business and modernise as well as digitalise its brands.

* Lisette Schlippe has been announced as Director Content Licensing at American broadcasting firm Turner Broadcasting System Inc. for central and eastern Europe, reports German news site Kress. The position has been newly created. Schlippe joins the senior management team for the region which includes Germany. Time Warner Inc. owns Turner.

* German Bundesbildungsministerin Johanna Wanka (CDU) (Minister of Education) has announced plans to equip 40,000 schools in Germany with laptops and WLAN to facilitate a digital learning environment, reports German news site Die Welt. The provision would require €5 billion in funding until 2021.


* Christophe Barbier resigned as Editor in Chief of French weekly L'Express, Le Parisien reports. He will be replaced by Guillaume Dubois, who will add the responsibility to his current position as Managing Director of Press for Altice NV unit SFR Group - Cable's SFR Média.

* The Digital Republic bill took effect officially in France on Oct. 7, strengthening the role of telecoms regulator ARCEP, Univers Freebox reports. ARCEP will, among other new powers, incite deployment of fiber optics, encourage innovation, and monitor net neutrality.

* Google will roll out the identification of Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) in Europe in the coming month, CB News reports. When a search is done via mobile phone, a symbol will indicate that it is an AMP fast-loading site. AMP pages load, on average, in less than a second.

* Universal Music Group, a subsidiary of Vivendi, launched music production platform Spinnup in France, CB News reports. The service allows musicians to self-produce and upload tracks to online listening platforms like Spotify Ltd., Apple Inc.'s iTunes and Deezer SA. The platform charges a fee for the upload and artists retain their rights and 100% of their potential income.

* French data hosting service OVH will build its first data center in the U.S., Usine Digitale reports. The facility will be located in Virginia with an estimated cost of $47 million.


* Deutsche Telekom AG unit T-Mobile Netherlands will enable customers who have a subscription of at least 6GB a month to freely and unlimited stream music via 4G from services such as Spotify and Deezer, AD writes. Dutch competition regulator ACM is launching an investigation into the offer, saying T-Mobile's move conflicts with Dutch laws on internet neutrality, which state that providers should offer services on a non-discriminatory basis.

* Dutch provider KPN NV has announced it will renew its 'benefit bundles' for use outside the European Union, GSMHelpDesk reports. The new bundles will consist of 'units' which can be used as an SMS, MB, or call minute within the 40 most popular destinations outside the EU.

* Dutch operator E-Fiber has completed the preparations for a demand aggregation in the town of Bernheze, with a number of information evenings for residents, reports Telecompaper. At least 40% of targeted households, equal to 5,200 residents, need to sign up for the service in order for the fibre network roll-out to kick off.


* Ericsson AB Chairman Leif Johansson has defended the group's restructuring plan, writes Swedish newspaper Göteborgs Posten. Johansson described the corporate streamlining by Ericsson as a "technology shift." Johansson said the group would also not rush the appointment of a new CEO.

* DNA Oy and Telia Co. AB's Sonera Oy have cooperated in expanding their 4G data network to the southern Karelian area of eastern Finland, DNA said in a statement. The DNA-Sonera 4G network already covers northern Karjala. The mobile network will reach 130,000 persons in southern Karelia.

* Soundtrap AB has raised 50 million Swedish kronor from investors in a new funding round led by venture capital firm Industrifonden, reports Swedish technology newspaper Digital Di. Spotify's former CFO, Peter Sterky, is a new investor in the Sweden-headquartered cloud-based music making platform.

* Johan Carlström has left his role as business developer in Fingerprint Cards AB, writes Swedish business newspaper Affärsvärlden. A major shareholder and former CEO of Fingerprint, Carlström will pursue private business interests. He received an exit severance payment of 10.9 million Swedish kronor.

* Schibsted ASA has purchased 61,000 B-shares in the company, paying an average price of around 197.36 Norwegian kroner per share, the Norwegian media company said. Schibsted will use the share buyback to raise the number of treasury shares available in connection with its own employee incentive program.


* Vodafone Portugal invested €625,000 in exchange for a 33.3% stake it acquired in Portuguese premium sports network Sport TV, Telecompaper reports, citing Jornal de Negocios. A total of 125,000 shares worth €5 each were issued as part of the cash-based capital increase.

* NOS inked a strategic partnership with China's Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd., Digital TV Europe reports. The two companies reportedly agreed to work together in the areas of networks and technology, including the Internet of Things, broadband and video services.

* MásMóvil Ibercom SA clinched a deal for its newly acquired unit Yoigo to use Orange SA's mobile network across Spain, Telecompaper reports. The agreement, which takes effect in 2017, enables both Yoigo and MásMóvil to gain access to Orange's 4G network, with MásMóvil also able to install its antennas on Orange-owned sites.

* Portuguese taxi drivers blocked access to the Lisbon international airport in a protest against Uber and other cab-hailing services, Reuters reports. The drivers vowed to maintain their blockade until their demands are met, including limiting the number of cars not identified as cabs.


* AMC Networks Inc. unit AMC Networks International - Central Europe struck a carriage deal with Telekom Austria Group for the latter's pay TV service in Bulgaria and Croatia. Under the deal, Telekom Austria will make localized versions of AMC available to customers of its Bulgarian unit Mobiltel and Croatian subsidiary VIPnet. Telekom Austria is owned by América Móvil SAB de CV.

* RCS&RDS SA's parent company Cable Communications Systems NV is aiming to raise €375 million and 1.43 billion Romanian lei with the launch of two bond issues, Telecompaper reports, citing Ziarul Financiar. The bonds' proceeds will be used to refinance debt and to reduce currency exposure.

* Netia SA named Aster Papazyan as its general director for the business-to-business market, effective Nov. 2, Telecompaper reports. Papazyan joins the Polish cable operator from parcel machines operator easyPack.


The Daily Dose Asia-Pacific: Samsung halts sales of Galaxy Note 7; Alibaba strikes film deal with Amblin: Samsung Electronics said it will ask its global partners to suspend sales and exchanges of the Galaxy Note 7, while Alibaba Group's film unit entered into a co-production and distribution deal with Steven Spielberg's Amblin Partners.

CAPITAL Letters: Attempting to gauge the impact of so-called 'Netflix taxes': It is difficult to quantify the impact of streaming taxes on subscription growth. I suspect there is always a bit of price elasticity in play, but streaming's inherent popularity suggests the tax impact could be minimal.

'Chicago Fire' season 5 debuts Oct. 11; Amazon orders horror anthology 'Lore': The latest installment of The Program Guide includes the Oct. 28 season debut of "Tracey Ullman's Show" on HBO and the Nov. 16 debut of the docu-series "Polar Bear Town" on Smithsonian Channel.

Data Dispatch: Banking on a new, live-action Disney: Disney is rolling out new live-action remakes of many of its beloved classics, and the strategy seems to be working.

M&A Replay: European deals through Oct. 7: Hutchison, Orange, Nokia: S&P Global Market Intelligence provides a wrap-up of European media and communications deal announcements, completions and updates from Sept. 30 to Oct. 7.

M&A Replay: EBay buys visual search tech firm; Gannett acquires Golfweek: S&P Global Market Intelligence provides a wrap-up of U.S. media and communications deal announcements and completions from Oct. 3 to Oct. 7.

The week in OTT: Netflix CEO discusses China; Amazon greenlights horror show: Netflix CEO said at an event in New York that the likelihood of the streaming giant entering the Chinese market "doesn't look good," while greenlit an original horror anthology series, "Lore," based on a podcast of the same name.


Economics of Internet: State of Malaysian online video: Subscription: As with many Asian markets, Malaysia's demand for internet access exceeds the capabilities of its infrastructure. However, video-on-demand subscriptions continue to grow.

Multichannel Trends: Charter best positioned for ad windfall in final weeks of presidential race: With less than a month to go before Election Day, Charter has emerged as the multichannel provider likely to benefit the most due to its footprint across key Electoral College states, according SNL Kagan's assessment of political advertising.

Broadcast Investor: Analysis of nation's 3 major radio networks, 2016: Average unit ad rates rising slowly: Based on our updated analysis of the nation's three largest radio networks, syndicated news/talk shows and pre-programmed music formats averaged 13.7 minutes of ad time per hour in 2016 at an estimated $10.08 per 30-second ad spot, up 0.9% from $9.99 in 2015.

Sylvia Edwards Davis, Anne Freier, Charlotte van Hek 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.