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UPC Polska cancels Multimedia Polska deal; MTG to split company into 2


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UPC Polska cancels Multimedia Polska deal; MTG to split company into 2


* Liberty Global plc unit UPC Polska Sp. z o.o. terminated its deal to buy Multimedia Polska SA, Poland's third-largest cable operator, according to an SEC filing. The deal had faced scrutiny from Poland's Office of Competition and Consumer Protection, or UOKiK, which was expected to issue its decision on Liberty Global's proposed acquisition of Multimedia Polska in the first quarter of 2018.

* The board of directors of Modern Times Group has agreed to split the company into two by moving Nordic Entertainment Group into a separate entity. Under the planned split, the shares of Nordic Entertainment will be distributed to shareholders of Modern Times Group, known as MTG, and will be listed on Nasdaq Stockholm.


* The European Union remains open on splitting Google Inc. into smaller companies as the bloc continues to have "grave suspicions" about the Alphabet Inc. unit's dominance, London's The Daily Telegraph reports, citing a statement from EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager. The Internet giant has a 91.5% share of the search engine market in Europe, the report said.

* The European Commission has proposed to exclude broadband providers that only provide wholesale services from the stricter regulation of telecom companies' broadband prices in the EU, Reuters reports. The commission's proposal to the European Parliament has been agreed in talks last week, but has yet to be finalized.

* CITIC Telecom International Holdings Ltd.'s CITIC Telecom International CPC Ltd. announced the appointment of James Halberstadt as managing director, Europe effective March 5.


* U.K.'s Information Commissioner's Office announced that it has acquired pieces of evidence from the premises of Cambridge Analytica LLC after a High Court judge awarded the watchdog with a warrant "to obtain access to data and information." The ICO said it will "assess and consider" before deciding on its next steps on the investigation.

* Viacom Inc.-owned Channel 5 (UK) is launching its British preschool programming "Milkshake!" to Inc.'s Amazon Channels under the new title "More Milkshake!" Digital TV Europe reports. The subscription video-on-demand service will cost £2.99 a month.

* Scottish television executives and Channel 4 (UK)'s former head of nations and regions Stuart Cosgrove, together with Scotland First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, are urging Channel 4 to consider Glasglow as the new headquarters of the public broadcaster, London's The Guardian reports. The broadcasting company intends to create a new headquarters in March that would see the relocation of 300 of its staff.

* Ireland has selected Amundi, BlackRock Investment Management and Goldman Sachs Asset Management LP to manage the about €15 billion in taxes that it would collect from Apple Inc., Reuters reports. The state's finance department has also selected Bank of New York Mellon to handle the escrow fund.


* German politicians have expressed doubts over Facebook Inc.'s announcement earlier this week to strengthen its data protection policies in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Heise Online reports. German Federal Data Protection Commissioner Andrea Vosshoff said she was skeptical of Facebook's change of course given that the social media company's business model revolves around generating and "profitably marketing" data.

* The Swiss Parliament's Commission for Transport and Telecommunications announced that it wants to postpone a decision on the Telecommunications Act's revision until the Government provides requested clarifications. The commission is seeking information on the definition of market dominance in association with the regulation of network access.

* RIB Software SE announced that it has completed the placement of 4.68 million new shares from its capital increase issued yesterday. The placement generated gross proceeds of approximately €131 million, which will be invested in its cloud business.


* Adyoulike SA acquired video technology platform Pulpix Inc. for an undisclosed sum. The acquisition is expected to bolster publisher relationships and advance the company's technology, according to a news release.

* France's media regulator has adopted a document analyzing the request made by the TF1 Group not to renew the competitive commitments made when LCI switched to free digital terrestrial television. It requests that observations from third parties be submitted by March 30.

* A bill that would require companies to obtain consumers' consent before using their data for commercial purposes has been tabled, Univers Freebox reports. Co-signed by more than 60 parliamentarians, the bill would ensure operators obtain the agreement of subscribers before transferring their telephone numbers to third parties and also proposes to increase the maximum penalty to five years imprisonment and a fine of €300,000.

* Danièle Gerkens has been appointed managing editor of Elle à table. She succeeds Sandrine Glacobetti, who is leaving Lagardère SCA's Lagardère Active SAS after 14 years as editor of Elle à table.


* KPN NV will appeal the decision by a U.S. court on a patent infringement case against various technology companies, Telecompaper reports, citing De Telegraaf. KPN had sued HTC Corp., Lenovo Group Ltd., BlackBerry Ltd., Gemalto NV, Sierra, TCL Corp., Telit Communications PLC and Oneplus Co. Ltd. on accusations of patent infringement, but the court had ruled that the patent was not new and thus cannot be infringed.

* Ziggo NV is in talks with Flemish public broadcaster VRT about the provision of the latter's channels via online TV platform Ziggo GO outside customers' homes, reports TotaalTV. At the moment, the GO app only offers VRT's content to users who use their Ziggo internet connection at home and doesn't allow people to watch the content outside their house.


* Telenor ASA will not discontinue its Facebook Workplace platform which it launched in 2016, reports Telenor is among a number of top Norwegian companies that will retain Facebook Workplace in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica data harvesting scandal.

* Sweden's government is now generally supportive of EU proposals to tax digital companies like Spotify AB, the unit of Spotify Technology SA, writes Digital Di. Sweden had previously been reluctant to back a plan that taxed the turnover rather than the profits of large-sized digital firms.

* Electra AB announced that it has signed a logistics partnership deal with Telenor's Canal Digital, Elektra said. Under the agreement, Elektra becomes Canal Digital's main Nordic logistics partner to distribute set-top boxes, smart cards and accessories.

* Rajeev Suri saw his total income as CEO of Nokia Corp.'s Nokia Oyj fall by 30% in 2017, reports Ilta Sanomat. Suri's aggregate income, including his basic salary, bonuses and other incentive-based earnings, dropped from €9.5 million in 2016 to €6.4 million in 2017.


* Vivendi SA has stepped up its battle with activist hedge fund Elliott over control of Telecom Italia SpA by forcing the Italian operator's shareholders to vote on an entire new board at a May 4 meeting, Reuters reports. Elliott, which acquired an almost 6% stake in Telecom Italia in a bid to challenge the way Vivendi runs the telco, has described the move as "cynical and self-serving."

* Italian infrastructure company Atlantia SpA has decided to exercise an option to acquire either a 29.9% or the entire 34% stake held by Abertis Infraestructuras SA in Spanish towers operator Cellnex Telecom SA at a per-share price range of €21.20 to €21.50. Atlantia will reveal its final decision after the completion of Abertis' takeover by German construction company Hochtief.

* Samsung Group's Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. has launched its mobile payment service Samsung Pay in Italy, Telecompaper reports.


* Russian conglomerate Sistema JSFC has submitted the highest bid of $1.2 billion plus about $300 million of debt for the remaining assets of Indian telco Reliance Communications Ltd., The Economic Times (India) reports, citing sources. Sistema, which reportedly wants a full buyout of RCom, is bidding for the latter's undersea cables, data centers and domestic enterprise business in India.

* Russian internet company Group Ltd completed the acquisition of eSports holding company ESforce, after securing deal approval from the Federal Antimonopoly Service, Telecompaper reports, citing Vedomosti. Analysts value the deal at about $100 million, according to the report.

* Deutsche Telekom AG unit Hrvatski Telekom launched a 1-Gbps fiber broadband service, which will be initially available in selected areas across Croatia, Telecompaper reports.


Marketweek: Facebook data scandal weighs on tech; AT&T stock slides as DOJ trial begins: Facebook's shares plummeted as the company faced continued backlash from investors and legislators concerned about the mishandling of user data. Meanwhile, AT&T kicked off its legal battle with the U.S. government in a long-awaited antitrust case.


Economics of Internet: State of Austria online video: Subscription: In Austria, the adoption of streaming video services has not yet reached the levels found in other European markets, such as the U.K. and the Nordics, and is in line with the low multichannel penetration of 50.8% in 2017.

Daniela Latini, 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.

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