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BT eyes former Ofcom head as new CEO; Deutsche Telekom, United Internet mull JV

TOP NEWS

* British Telecom wants to tap Stephen Carter, current CEO of Informa PLC and former Ofcom CEO, to replace Gavin Patterson as the head of the British operator, Sky News reports. However, an unnamed friend of Carter said the Informa executive is "not a candidate" and is "not part" of the recruitment process, the report said.

* Deutsche Telekom AG has offered a teamup with United Internet AG on the development of a fiber-optic network in Germany, Reuters reports, citing Deutsche Telekom CEO Tim Hoettges' interview with Funke Mediengruppe. United Internet CEO Ralph Dommermuth said he is open to the offer, but said that the venture should be 75% backed by Deutsche Telekom.

UK AND IRELAND

* ITV PLC has teamed up with Accedo Broadband AB for a project using artificial intelligence to improve user engagement. The project, which will use thumbnails for different artwork strategies, will be tested with a focus group of ITV users.

GERMANY, SWITZERLAND AND AUSTRIA

* Perform Group Ltd.'s streaming platform DAZN has acquired exclusive rights to broadcast the Serie A matches in Germany and Austria in the next three seasons, starting in 2018, Digital TV Europe reports.

* German fiber-network operators eins energie in sachsen GmbH & Co. KG and Entega AG have selected Zattoo Europa AG's white label solution for the introduction of their multiscreen internet protocol television services, Broadband TV News reports. The move follows the decision by network operators M-net, NetCologne, EWE TEL GmbH and BITel to use Zattoo's TV platform for their IPTV services.

* MTI Teleport München GmbH has selected Swedish media technology company Net Insight AB to create a media network for Sky PLC unit Sky Austria. The network will connect 12 soccer stadiums throughout Austria with Sky Austria's premises and MTI Teleport's network operation centre for live Austrian Bundesliga coverage.

FRANCE

* Orange SA closed the acquisition of Basefarm Holding AS through its enterprise subsidiary Orange Business Services after receiving approval from relevant competition authorities. The €350 million deal will complement Orange Business Services' existing catalog of offers and will bring expertise and technologies, particularly in data management, the management of critical applications, big data and multicloud services, the company said.

* SFR Group SA said SFR Presse now includes news feeds produced on its behalf by RMC Sport and BFM TV, two of the flagship brands of Altice Europe, formerly Altice NV. SFR Presse is available for €5 per month for SFR subscribers and €10 for nonsubscribers.

NETHERLANDS, BELGIUM AND LUXEMBOURG

* Allestoringen, a website listing all digital malfunctions in the Netherlands and Belgium, has been sold to Seattle company Ookla for an undisclosed amount, reports Emerce. Former journalist Tom Sanders, who founded the website, will continue to be involved in the project.

* The European Commission has set Nov. 30 as the new deadline for the investigation into the merger between Dutch providers Tele2 AB (publ) unit Tele2 Netherlands and T-Mobile Netherlands, postponing the original Oct. 27 deadline. The merger would mean that there would be three players on the Dutch telecom market, instead of the current four.

NORDIC COUNTRIES

* Telenor ASA unit Telenor Norway announced the launch of the new Norwegian Open AI Lab. Telenor collaborated with technical university NTNU, research organization SINTEF and other additional partners.

* Cloudeon A/S founder and CEO Frank Mogensen told Computerworld that he could be willing to sell the rest of the company, following TDC A/S' recent acquisition of 40% of the Danish cloud services company. Mogensen said the sale to TDC was necessary to raise capital.

* Swedish game company THQ Nordic AB reported second-quarter EBITDA of 207 million Swedish kronor, up 421% from 39.7 million kronor a year earlier. Net sales amounted to 837.4 million kronor.

SOUTHERN EUROPE

* Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said his country will boycott U.S. electronic products as he showed no signs of backing down in an escalating row with the U.S., London's Financial Times reports. Erdogan said Turkey would stop buying Apple Inc. or other American technology products, citing Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. and Turkish home appliances and electronics producer Vestel Elektronik Sanayi ve Ticaret Anonim Sirketi as alternative options.

* Eleven Sports Network Ltd. is looking at launching a set-top box for its Portugese channels should it fail to reach distribution deals with the country's major telcos, Telecompaper reports. Eleven Sports has so far only clinched a deal with cable operator Nowo, as talks with MEO, NOS and Vodafone Group PLC's Vodafone Portugal are still ongoing.

* Portuguese broadcaster SIC has commissioned the finished series of drama shows "Allenby" and "No Return" from Israeli content provider Armoza Formats.

* Italy is switching to the MPEG-4 format for its DVB-T standard for digital terrestrial television services, beginning Jan. 1, 2020, Advanced Television reports. The decision is part of the 700-MHz band release schedule launched by the country's Ministry of Economic Development.

EASTERN EUROPE

* BBC Studios' BBC First will launch as a linear channel in Poland on Oct. 26, replacing the BBC HD channel, TBI Vision reports. The channel will be available through DTH satellite, cable and IPTV, and will have both English and Polish subtitles. BBC Studios is a unit of the British Broadcasting Corp.

* Russia's Federal Antimonopoly Service has approved a plan by MegaFon Investments (Cyprus) Ltd. to acquire up to 20.8% of the voting shares in its parent entity MegaFon, the mobile operator said. The deal will boost the ordinary shares held by MICL and its entities to about 81.04% of MegaFon's voting shares.

* The District Court in Bratislava issued measures against M7 Group SA regarding the illegal distribution of free-to-air channels TV Nova in Slovakia and TV Markiza in the Czech Republic, Broadband TV News reports, citing a statement. The court has required M7 Group to block access to the channels through the use of decoding cards for direct-to-home platform Skylink in the two countries. Skylink carries both channels that are owned by Central European Media Enterprises Ltd.

* Mobile TeleSystems PJSC has rolled out Microsoft Corp.'s Azure Stack hybrid system in its data centers, allowing the Russian operator to provide Azure services for its business clients, Telecompaper reports, citing Cnews.ru.

* The governments of Russia and Belarus are in talks for a plan to drop cross-border roaming through, among others, implementing common roaming tariffs, Telecompaper reports, citing Tdaily.ru.

* Channel operator All Media Baltics has rebranded premium sports channel Viasat Sport Baltic as TVPlay Sports, Digital TV Europe reports. The rebranding follows All Media Baltics' acquisition of Modern Times Group's Baltic assets, including the former Viasat Sport Baltic, in 2017.

FEATURED NEWS

Netflix begins Arabic series production; Naspers selects new video unit CEO: Netflix began production for its Arabic original series "Jinn," while Naspers appointed CEO for its Connected Video division.

FEATURED RESEARCH

Global Multichannel: Virgin settles UKTV carriage dispute after 3-week blackout: UKTV channels are back on U.K. cable along with 5x more on-demand content.

Daniela Latini, Sylvia Edwards Davis, Charlotte van Hek and Esben Svendsen contributed to this report.

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