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TF1 in talks to buy Axel Springer's stake in auFeminin; Nokia COO exits

TOP NEWS

* TF1 Group confirmed that it is in exclusive talks with Axel Springer SE over possibly buying the latter's indirect 78.43% stake in auFeminin SA, a company offering digital products and subscriptions focusing on fashion, beauty, lifestyle, cooking and health.

* Nokia Corp. COO Monika Maurer is stepping down to pursue new opportunities outside the company. The Finnish tech giant named Joerg Erlemeier COO, effective immediately. Erlemeier will also join the Nokia group's leadership team.

UK AND IRELAND

* A Westminster court could begin hearing Uber Technologies Inc.'s appeal against the stripping of its London operating license by April 30, 2018, London's The Daily Telegraph reports. The start date could be further pushed back to June 25, 2018, which means Uber can continue operating in London for at least a few more months.

* Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. is teaming up with Trinity College Dublin to further boost its research and development efforts in Ireland. The Chinese company also revealed an expansion of its R&D operations in its Cork facility as part of a $21 million investment this year.

* Turner Broadcasting System Inc. said it is set to move its London headquarters in January 2019 to a building in Old Street, as the lease agreement on the current site is set to expire. Turner's U.K. employees will move out of their current office in autumn 2019, together with London-based HBO, HBO Europe and Time Warner Inc. staff.

* Irish public broadcaster RTÉ plans to shutter its 24-hour news channel RTÉ News Now as part of cost-cutting measures, Dublin's Irish Independent reports. RTÉ's management reportedly noted the channel's unsustainable costs due to its low audience numbers, which total just a few thousand.

GERMANY, SWITZERLAND AND AUSTRIA

* Funk, the content network by German broadcasters ARD and ZDF (DE), has launched a service format called plan&los with Studio71, the premium multi-platform network of German broadcaster ProSiebenSat.1 Media SE.

* York von Heimburg, member of the executive board of media company IDG Communications Media AG in Munich, has been named president of International IDG Communications, effective immediately. The position has been newly created among IDG group companies.

FRANCE

* France's telecom regulator ARCEP has launched a public consultation on online access via smartphones, tablets and computers following concerns that internet access terminals are controlled by a small number of players. ARCEP will publish a full report Feb. 15, 2018.

NETHERLANDS, BELGIUM AND LUXEMBOURG

* Dutch digital agencies Colours, Mangrove and Redhotminute have merged into one new organization that will be financially backed by investor ABN Amro Participaties. The three parties will operate as autonomous sister companies under the name We are you.

* Belgian operator Proximuss looking to recruit 250 new technical employees and digital specialists. The operator had earlier announced plans to roll out fiber in several major Belgian cities.

* Dutch computer magazine MacFan has changed its name into Machina after 20 years.

NORDIC COUNTRIES

* CK Hutchison Holdings Ltd. unit Three Denmark will launch a price war aimed at taking customers from rivals TDC A/S and Telenor ASA, reports Berlingske Tidende. TDC and Telenor have already cut subscription prices to gain market share.

* A trial against three former executives in Telia Sonera will begin at Stockholm District Court in September 2018, writes Dagens Industri. The three, all charged with gross misconduct, include Telia's former CEO Lars Nyberg and former Vice President Tero Kivisaari.

* Espoo, Finland's second-biggest city, has contracted Telia Co. AB's Telia Finland Oy to deliver a range of voice services. The four-year contract includes the provision of about 10,000 mobile subscriptions, together with switchboard and contact services.

* Ericsson AB and Singtel have achieved a peak speed of 1.1 Gbps in a joint trial of a new LAA configuration. The trial was conducted in Singtel's laboratory.

SOUTHERN EUROPE

* Telefónica SA's Movistar+ and Walt Disney Co. offered a sneak peek into the programming of their joint-venture pay TV channel Movistar Disney, which will be launched Dec. 22, Rapid TV News reports. The channel's premiere will feature a mix of classic and recent films, including "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs," "The Lion King," "Finding Nemo" and "Frozen."

* Mediaset SpA CEO Pier Silvio Berlusconi said his company's resumption of talks with Telecom Italia SpA for a new multiyear content deal could help settle the Italian broadcaster's legal dispute with Vivendi SA, Telecompaper reports, quoting Berlusconi's interview with Corriere della Sera.

* The Spanish government has filed a request with the Madrid stock regulator to revoke an authorization that allows Atlantia SpA to acquire Abertis Infraestructuras SA, due to the inclusion of Hispasat SA in the deal, Advanced Television reports. Spain, which owns a more than 9% stake in Hispasat, considers the company a "strategic asset." Abertis owns a 57% stake in Hispasat.

EASTERN EUROPE

* RTL Group's RTL Croatia is prepping the launch of RTL Play, a revamped video-on-demand service, in January 2018, Broadband TV News reports. The platform was developed with Groupe M6, using the latter's 6play platform.

* Media Group Ukraine has appointed Alexander Semiyadchenko as general producer for news media, effective Dec. 14, Broadband TV News reports. Semiyadchenko will be in charge of developing news platform Today as well as the coordination of editorial teams.

* Russia's Rostelecom PJSC will be expanding its telecommunications infrastructure in the city of Noyabrsk under an agreement between the parties, Telecompaper reports. The operator's expansion will focus on the development of safe city services and to help in increasing the users of the electronic government portal.

FEATURED NEWS

M&A Replay: European deals: Cineworld to buy Regal; UK delays Fox/Sky deal verdict: Cinema operator Cineworld struck a deal to acquire U.S. rival Regal Entertainment, while the U.K. Competition and Markets Authority postponed the release of its provisional findings on the 21st Century Fox/Sky deal for mid-January 2018.

FEATURED RESEARCH

* Global Multichannel: Middle East and Africa TV Everywhere: 2017 update: TV Everywhere service rollouts have picked up again in 2017, with two new services launching. Meanwhile, other operators are increasing the live channels and on-demand content available on their TVE platforms.

Anne Freier, Amanda Kelly, Charlotte van Hek and Gerard O'Dwyer contributed to this report. The Daily Dose has an editorial deadline of 7 a.m. London time. Some external links may require a subscription.