* Netflix Inc. has confirmed reports that it is testing higher rates for select customers in the U.K., Advanced Television reports. The streaming giant is advertising its £9.99 per-month Premium tier for £12.99, while the £5.99 Basic and £7.99 Standard packages increased by £1 each. Meanwhile, Netflix has stopped offering its free 30-day trial in Spain following an update to its legal conditions, Telecompaper reports, citing ADSL Zone.
* The Finnish Data Inspectorate began probing an incident involving the sending of sensitive information from Norwegian Nokia 7 Plus smartphones to a server in China, NRK reports. Finnish company HMD Global Oy, which produces the Nokia smartphones under license, confirmed that an unspecified number of phones have sent information to China, but that the error has been rectified in a recent software update.
* Members of the European Parliament are expected to vote March 26 on whether to adopt a proposed overhaul of rules governing content copyright across the European Union, Reuters reports. The proposal would require online platforms to sign licensing deals with content creators for the online use of their work.
UK AND IRELAND
* Amazon.com Inc. has tapped British Telecom's BT Sport and producer Sunset+Vine to produce the coverage of English Premier League matches over the e-commerce giant's Amazon Prime Video, Digital TV Europe reports. The streaming platform will air 20 matches per season.
GERMANY, SWITZERLAND AND AUSTRIA
* Online job platform StepStone Deutschland GmbH, a subsidiary of German digital media company Axel Springer SE, has acquired a majority stake in PMSG PersonalMarkt Services GmbH, which operates online portals for employers and employees, for an undisclosed sum. The company also operates portals Gehalt.de and Gehaltsvergleich.com, which provide salary comparison tools for job seekers.
* Deutsche Telekom AG and energy and telecoms company EWE AG have announced a joint venture named Glasfaser NordWest. The entity aims to provide 1.5 million households and businesses with faster internet access within the German areas of Lower Saxony, North Rhine-Westphalia and Bremen.
* Axel Springer SE is weighing a takeover of eBay Classifieds Group, which the company is to likely put up for sale, Capital reports. The digital media company currently generates two-thirds of its profits through classified ads.
* German public broadcaster ZDF (DE) will enable third-party video embedding via its ZDFmediathek platform. The move will allow blog owners and homepage creators to embed videos from ZDFmediathek on their own pages.
* Swedish podcasting platform Acast AB has launched in France, Les Echos reports. Its activities in France will be managed by Yann Thébault, former director of Spotify Technology SA's French unit.
* Orange SA has filed its 2018 registration document with the Autorité des Marchés Financiers. The report shows that adjusted EBITDA was up 2.7% in 2018, with group revenues up 1.3% and a 1.5% increase in revenues in Africa and the Middle East.
NETHERLANDS, BELGIUM AND LUXEMBOURG
* Talpa Network and retailer MediaMarkt announced that their joint audio streaming initiative JUKE will continue as part of Talpa Network, and that MediaMarkt will stop its premium on-demand music service. Talpa Network also decided to stop the JUKE premium platform on April 30, with JUKE continuing as a free-access streaming platform enabled by advertising.
* Belgian consumer interest association Test Aankoop said the government should install a 10-year transition period between FM and DAB+ signal, as many consumers own non-DAB+ compatible radios which they should not be forced to scrap. They further dispute the current reception, offer, quality and car radio compatibility of DAB+.
* Belgian telecom and cloud service provider Destiny NV acquired Belgium Telecom after a six-year strategic partnership, Datanews reports. The acquisition is Destiny's second in the Belgian French-speaking market in three years, with the company also reportedly aiming to soon expand globally.
* Dutch video app developer 24i Media said it acquired media tech provider StreamOne BV, which supports the video applications of publisher Telegraaf Media Groep NV. The takeover is part of 24i Media's strategy to expand its capabilities in over-the-top services.
* EQT Partners AB is considering selling market research company FocusVision Worldwide Inc., Private Equity News reports, citing people with knowledge of the matter. Investment bank Houlihan Lokey has been employed by EQT to run the sale process, the people said.
* Ericsson said it has won a 5G commercial contract with KT Corp. to enable the nationwide provision of commercial 5G services in South Korea. The country's operators have set a go-live date in early April, in time to support commercially available 5G smartphones.
* Danish fiber company Waoo A/S said it has launched a new bundle of streaming services at a cheaper price. The first bundle includes two Danish streaming services, but Waoo said it plans to increase the number of services available.
* Telia Norge AS said the TDC A/S brand has been dropped and integrated into the Telia Co. AB unit's corporate business in Norway, after the acquisition of Get/TDC in 2018. The first product to be launched by the new corporate venture is a secure internet solution for small and medium-sized businesses.
* Vodafone Group PLC unit Vodafone España SAU has clinched an agreement with trade unions to slash 1,000 jobs across its workforce, Telecompaper reports, citing El Economista. Of the total number, about 500 are reportedly voluntary redundancies.
* Telecom Italia SpA would consider selling its stake in its Brazilian unit TIM Participações SA as a debt-reducing measure only if it received a very good offer, Reuters reports, citing a source close to the matter.
* Ericsson has warned that Poland would face a 5G slowdown unless it implements changes to its telecom regulations, Reuters reports. The Polish government is considering banning Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. from the rollout of 5G services in the country.
* Eleven Sports Network Ltd. will continue airing Formula One games in Poland, following an extension of a broadcast deal with the motorsport organization until the end of the 2022 season, Digital TV Europe reports.
DAZN may buy Fox Sports Brazil; Netflix to raise fees in Mexico, Brazil: Sports streaming service DAZN, which is set to launch in Brazil by the end of March, may buy Fox Sports in the country, while Netflix is increasing subscription fees in Mexico and Brazil.
Hires and Fires Europe: BBC names group managing director; Turkcell CEO departs: The BBC appointed Bob Shennan group managing director, while Muhterem Kaan Terzioğlu stepped down as CEO of Turkish operator Turkcell.
Consumer Insights: UK 2019 Consumer Insights report: 45% dominate the digital entertainment market: Survey results show that those respondents who use online video, gaming and music with any regularity in the U.K. represent only 45% of internet adults.
Economics of Internet: International subscribers have taken lead in fueling Netflix's growth: In this article we consolidate our North American, European and Asia-Pacific Netflix subscriber estimates and provide a brief overview of each region.
Xiaomi needs more time to develop chip business, says CEO: The Chinese smartphone-maker still needs more time to develop its chip business in addition to expanding its handsets and internet of things sectors, the CEO said.
Tencent's 2018 online games revenue growth hit by regulations: The Chinese IT company's online game revenue grew 6% to 104 billion yuan in 2018, compared to 38% growth in 2017. Chief Strategy Officer James Mitchell said increased regulation played a part in the drop.
Anne Freier, Amanda Kelly, Koen Pijnappels and Esben Svendsen contributed to this report.
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