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Altice Europe on fiber unit; Amazon's French original; Google under EC probe


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Altice Europe on fiber unit; Amazon's French original; Google under EC probe


* Altice Europe is talking to a group of investors for the sale of an interest in its Portuguese fiber-optic network, reports De Telegraaf. The group of investors, led by the Canadian pension fund OMERS Infrastructure Management Inc., would like to take a 40% stake for between €3 billion and €4 billion.

* Six French YouTube stars will host "True Story," a new Inc. series produced by Warner Bros. International Television Production's French unit and Talent Web/Webedia SA, reports TBI Vision. The six-part series will be available exclusively on Amazon's Prime Video in France in 2020.

* The European Commission sent questionnaires to news publishers to look at whether the way Google LLC collects data from their websites stifles competition in online advertising, according to London's Financial Times. The commission gave publishers time until Jan. 15, 2020, to respond. Alphabet Inc. owns Google.

* Telecom Italia SpA struck an agreement to add content from sports streaming service DAZN to its offer. The deal allows subscribers of the telco's TIMVISION platform to watch matches from national and global soccer events, among others. Subscribers of Telecom Italia's ADSL and fiber offers will also be able to get access to DAZN and Sky Ltd.'s NOW TV in a single offer for a monthly subscription fee of €29.99.


* The European Broadcasting Union said it is looking to engage in a "constructive dialogue" on European Union policies as it welcomes the new European Commission. The EBU is calling on the commission to reinforce "social cohesion and cultural diversity" to aid in having a fair environment for the broadcasting sector and to improve the fight against hate speech, illegal content and disinformation.

* The EBU, through its Eurovision Sport division, struck an agreement with the Union of European Football Associations for the rights to Women's Euro 2021 and other matches in over 50 European countries, Digital TV Europe reports. The agreement covers more than 20 events for three years.

* The European Union Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager announced that it will review the Market Definition Notice to look into whether its guidance on antitrust and merger cases still apply in today's age. The guidelines were formulated in 1997.


* Liberty Global PLC tapped video delivery technology company Teltoo SL to improve livestreaming video quality on its platform. Through the partnership with Teltoo as a peer-to-peer CDN partner, Liberty Global will have another tool to enhance its existing CDN, the company said. Teltoo will leverage Liberty Global's existing operations to expand into new markets, particularly in the U.K.

* U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson will look into whether TV license fees, such as that of the British Broadcasting Corp.'s "makes sense in the long term," Reuters reports, quoting the British leader as saying. In response, a BBC spokeswoman said that the license fee is "agreed as the method of funding the BBC for another eight years."

* Streaming aggregator TuneIn intends to file an appeal against a court decision that it breached copyrights of Warner Music and Sony Corp., Advanced Television reports. Specifically, the earlier ruling, published on Nov. 1, stated that TuneIn's non-U.K. stations constitute the infringements.


* JustWatch GmbH acquired media search engine GoWatchIt from New York-based Plexus Entertainment LLC for an undisclosed sum, Variety reports. The deal will allow the Berlin-based streaming aggregator to open a New York office, to be led by GoWatchIt founder and CEO David Larkin who is stepping in as JustWatch's senior vice president of marketing and strategy.

* ZDF Enterprises GmbH appointed Lasse Scharpen as CEO of scripted division Network Movie Film- und Fernsehproduktion GmbH. Scharpen will establish the Studio Zentral brand for its Berlin site and develop fictional productions for international and national audiences.

* Internet company Rocket Internet SE and United Internet AG decided to dissolve their cross-shareholding on two share repurchases, reports Reuters. Now Rocket intends to repurchase the remaining 7.4% share for €241 million.

* Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland GmbH will be launching an international streaming summit next spring, reports DWDL. The event will tackle strategic, commercial and content aspects including case studies, best practices and distribution, and marketing discussions.

* Streaming platform Joyn launched its own linear TV channel called Primetime, reports DWDL. The joint streaming venture by ProSiebenSat.1 Media SE and Discovery Ltd. acquired the license to broadcast shows on Primetime back in spring 2019.

* German mobile network operator 1&1 Drillisch AG will be appealing against an estimated €9.6 million fine by the German data protection authority Bundesbeauftragte für den Datenschutz und die Informationsfreiheit. The company was fined for its failure to protect user data, reports German news site Finanzen.


* Altice France SA announced a partnership with Hisense Electric Co. Ltd. to launch the RMC Sport application on Hisense Smart TV. The application integrates Smart TV Hisense's new interface, Vidaa U, allowing RMC Sport subscribers access to RMC Sport LIVE and UEFA Champions League programming.

* CANAL+ Group and beIN Media Group LLC's beIN SPORTS engaged in discussions for an exclusive five-year renewable distribution and sub-licensing agreement, according to a news release. The Vivendi SA unit plan to offer all beIN SPORTS premium sports channels, and from June 1, 2020, CANAL+ will become the exclusive distributor of beIN SPORTS on all platforms and from all third-party operators in France. Both would retain their identities, brands and editorial autonomy, as well as respond independently to calls for tenders for sports rights.

* Comcast Corp.-owned FreeWheel extended its partnership with Nielsen Holdings PLC as part of its rollout of improvements in its digital integrated ad management platform for video publishers in Europe. FreeWheel will roll out new partnerships and features during the fourth quarter. The company's digital integrated ad management platform is accessible to publishers in the U.K., France, Italy, Germany and Spain.

* Le is expected to have about 230,000 digital subscribers by the end of 2019, up from 180,000 a year ago, CB News reports. The French newspaper is also expecting a slight increase in its turnover. Le Monde also has a target of one million digital subscribers by 2025.


* Media and entertainment solutions provider Amino Technologies PLC and Dutch subsidiary 24i Unit Media BV entered into an agreement with Dutch mobile virtual network operator Youfone Nederland BV to provide an end-to-end video solution to expand its TV and over-the-top offering. Amino and 24i will supply their video technologies to enable live TV, catchup and other related features for about 100 channels under Youfone's TV service.

* Belgian operator Proximus' restructuring plan has been approved by the Christian trade union, reports VRT. As a result, around 1,900 jobs would be lost at the telecom company in three years' time.

* Belgian operator Telenet started implementing security software on its Telenet modems to protect smart devices in the house against hackers. The software costs €4.99 per month. Once activated on the modem, the Telenet customer can also manage and monitor his network and connected devices via a special app.

* American data center company Equinix Inc. indicated it has plans to continue to grow in the Dutch market. It wants to build more data centers in Amsterdam, reports FD. According to Equinix CEO Charles Meyers, discussions with the municipalities of Haarlemmermeer and Amsterdam to allow new data centers ran by Equinix are on constructively.

* NXP Semiconductors NV said it completed the previously announced acquisition of Marvell Technology Group Ltd.'s wireless connectivity assets.


* Telia Co. AB repurchased a total of 2,832,173 own shares during the period from Dec. 2 to Dec. 6. The repurchase forms part of Telia's 5 billion Swedish kronor share buyback scheme which is due to run until Feb. 28, 2020.

* Elisa Oyj announced it rolled out a 5G network in Vaasa, making the midwest coast Finnish city the company's twelfth 5G network installation in Finland. The Vaasa network will initially cover university centers, business parks and areas of high industrial activity.

* Mats Olsson will step down as chairman of Knowit AB's board at its annual general meeting in April 2020. Knowit's nomination committee proposed Jon Risfelt as the new chairman.

* Knowit said it will deliver a range of IT services and improved digital solutions to Länsförsäkringar AB under a new deal. Knowit's three-year framework deal with the Swedish banking and insurance group comes with a two-year extension option.


* An Italian court in Milan delayed its ruling to Jan. 21, 2020, on Vivendi's appeal to suspend Mediaset SpA's planned merger of its Italian and Spanish business into a pan-European holding company. The move came after a request from Mediaset, which will hold a shareholders' meeting on Jan. 10 next year to approve amendments to the proposed reorganization in response to Vivendi's concerns, Reuters reports.

* Telecom Italia rolled out commercial 5G services in the city of Brescia, in Italy's Lombardy region, Telecompaper reports. The Italian operator also converted the Monza Eni race track in Lombardy into a 5G-powered autodrome.

* U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned the Portuguese government against using Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd.'s equipment in the country's 5G development efforts due to "risks involved," Telecompaper reports, citing Economia Online.

* Telecom infrastructure investor Digital Bridge Holdings LLC will invest up to €500 million in 2020 for the rollout of a fiber-optic network that will support the services of Portuguese operator Nowo, Telecompaper reports.


* Magyar Telekom is scrapping its management committee, effective Jan. 1, 2020, as part of an organizational revamp, Broadband TV News reports. The committee's duties will be split between the Deutsche Telekom AG unit's board and the CEO and deputy CEOs.

* Corning Optical Communications LLC will invest up to 366 million Polish zlotys in the construction of a new fiber-optic cable production plant in Mszczonow town, Poland, Telecompaper reports, citing Puls Biznesu.

* The Agency for Communication Networks and Services of the Republic of Slovenia said a planned 5G spectrum auction will be postponed for end-2020 because of delays in adopting the country's radio spectrum management strategy, Telecompaper reports. The watchdog expects Telekom Slovenije d d, A1 Slovenija d. d., Telemach d.o.o. and T-2 doo to participate in the auction.

* TAURON Polska Energia SA plans to roll out telecom services in the second quarter of 2020, Telecompaper reports, citing


M&A Replay: PE consortium completes Inmarsat acquisition; Telia closes Bonnier deal: A private equity consortium completed the takeover of U.K. satellite operator Inmarsat, while Swedish operator Telia closed the acquisition of Bonnier Broadcasting.


Economics of Internet: State of Belgian OTT video: Subscription: The total number of paid subscriptions to online video services in Belgium reached 656,000 in 2018, led by the growth of Netflix.

Anne Freier, Amanda Kelly, Charlotte van Hek and Gerard O'Dwyer contributed to this report.

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