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BT to cut 13,000 jobs; Mediaset, Telecom Italia sign content deal

TOP NEWS

* British Telecom plans to lay off about 13,000 employees in the next three years and will close down its London headquarters. The group's chairman announced a flat dividend and a projected revenue decline, in addition to the job cuts, sending its share price down 8% in early trading.

* Italian broadcaster Mediaset SpA has signed a deal making its free-to-air channels available to customers of Telecom Italia SpA's video-on-demand service TIMvision. TIMvision subscribers will also have access to Mediaset programming for the previous seven days.

PAN-EUROPEAN

* Facebook Inc. will run a two-part survey for its users in the U.K., Germany, France, Italy and Spain on whether they trust certain news websites, Reuters reports. The company will use the survey to determine whether to make changes to its News Feed.

UK AND IRELAND

* Apple Inc. will no longer build its planned €850 million data center in Ireland after regulatory approvals have stalled the project for three years, Reuters reports, citing an Apple statement. The planned Athenry facility has met local opposition. Two people filed a case with the Irish High Court and later with the Supreme Court to block construction.

* The U.K. parliament media committee has summoned former Cambridge Analytica LLC CEO Alexander Nix to appear June 6, Reuters reports. The committee asked Nix to provide additional evidence in relation to the Facebook data scandal.

* U.K. regulator Ofcom will support a planned move by British public service broadcasters to collaborate on a platform that would compete with streaming giants, such as Netflix Inc., Digital TV Europe reports, citing Ofcom director and board member Steve Unger.

* Cities in Britain, including Cardiff, Glasgow, Bristol, Leeds, Newcastle, Sheffield and Birmingham, are anticipated to formally present their bids to be a candidate for Channel 4 (UK)'s second headquarters, London's The Guardian reports. A short list will be revealed May 30, with the selected city announced Oct. 1.

* London-based One Horizon Group Inc. entered into a term sheet that comprises the main provisions of definitive agreements that would allow it to buy a majority stake in Singaporean B2B software provider Banana Whale Studios Pte. Ltd.

GERMANY, SWITZERLAND AND AUSTRIA

* Liberty Global PLC unit Unitymedia has received about €31.2 million as a settlement amount from its carriage dispute with ARD, Broadband TV News reports. The amount covers the settlement of legal disputes since 2013.

FRANCE

* Iliad's new code of conduct will not just be a general guideline for internet users, but is intended for all employees, according to Univers Freebox. President Cyril Poidatz says he wants to see the new code of ethics formalized as an official manual.

* Weekly publication Vraiment, which was launched in March, has suspended publication after failing to meet sales targets, reports Les Echos. Publisher Polaris News does not foresee 40,000 copies being sold within 18 months.

NETHERLANDS, BELGIUM AND LUXEMBOURG

* Belgian Finance Minister Johan Van Overtveldt is evaluating ways in which blockchain technology can be used by the Federal Public Service Finance, Knack.be reports. Three domains in which he sees potential are customs, VAT control and real estate registrations.

* The Netherlands Standardization Institute has established a task force for internet of things, security and privacy, Dutch IT Channel reports. The group of experts and stakeholders would monitor the international development of standards in the field.

NORDIC COUNTRIES

* Norwegian music publishing rights organization Tono and the Norwegian Recording Artists' Association GramArt have both called for a review of music-streaming service Tidal, Dagens Næringsliv reports. The newspaper alleged that Tidal manipulated listening figures by recording more than 320 million false additional plays of music from Beyoncé and Kanye West on real customer accounts. If true, Tono and GramArt want compensation for their members.

* Konrad Bergström, a co-founder of Swedish loudspeaker and headset company Zound Industries International AB, is working to acquire the whole company, DI Digital reports, citing anonymous sources in the company. The company's chairman and CEO are reportedly trying to get Bergström to leave the company. Zound Industries has been valued at between 1.5 billion Swedish kronor and 2 billion kronor.

* Swedish media solutions company Net Insight AB announced that Henrik Sund has been appointed interim CEO. He will take over after Fredrik Tumegård, who has decided to leave the company.

SOUTHERN EUROPE

* Telefónica SA has begun production for "El Embarcadero," touted as the Movistar+ platform's first original series, Rapid TV News reports. The series, produced in partnership with Atresmedia's Atresmedia Studios and Vancouver Media, will be shot until November and is expected to premiere in 2019.

* Spanish public broadcaster RTVE teamed up with technology vendor Televes and broadcast services operator Cellnex Telecom SA for the rollout of a 4K test channel on the digital terrestrial TV platform in Santiago de Compostela, Galicia region, Advanced Television reports.

* Orange SA unit Orange España expects to have invested €142.4 million for the deployment of fiber optic and 4G services in Spain's northern region of Asturias by end-2019, Telecompaper reports.

EASTERN EUROPE

* Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., a ranking member of the intelligence committee at the U.S. House of Representatives, has released the 3,000 ads ran by Russia's Internet Research Agency on Facebook and Instagram between 2015 and 2017. Facebook said it gave the ads to Congress to help lawmakers understand the extent of Russia's supposed interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. In a tweet, Schiff said exposing the ads would help protect U.S. citizens from having their wanted information "polluted by foreign adversaries."

* The Hungarian Competition Authority granted conditional approval to the proposed acquisition of telecom operator Invitel Távközlési ZRt. by fellow telco DIGI Távközlési és Szolgáltató Kft., the Budapest Business Journal reports, citing MTI. The watchdog reportedly ordered Digi to sell the Invitel networks in 16 settlements within six months, as well as end lease contracts on fixed-line telecom networks in 25 settlements.

* Ukrainian authorities intercepted a TV content piracy operation in Kiev, Broadband TV News reports, citing Ukraine's Cyberpolice. The suspects reportedly sold adapted smart consoles over the internet, which gave users free access to more than 1,000 pay TV channels.

* Romanian telecom watchdog ANCOM will propose amendments to its laws prior to a new tender for digital terrestrial TV broadcasting in the second half, Broadband TV News reports, citing a statement. The changes will allow more resources for DTT, paving the way for more channels and a dedicated multiplex for public service broadcasting.

FEATURED NEWS

The Program Guide: Global edition: France TV, ZDF, Rai form alliance; Netflix orders 'Seis Manos': France Télévisions, Germany's ZDF and Italy's RAI are teaming up to combat the growing power of subscription video-on-demand providers, while Netflix ordered its first original anime series set in Mexico.

FEATURED RESEARCH

Global Multichannel: Vodafone enters Central Eastern European wirelines: Liberty Global has agreed to sell its operations in Germany as well as in Hungary, Romania and the Czech Republic to Vodafone for €18.4 billion. This deal will bring significant changes in the regional markets.

RECENT EARNINGS

AMC sustains Q1 ad sales decline, eyes 'meaningful' sequential improvement: Executives expect quality of shows and data products to drive a "healthy" upfront selling season.

Anne Freier, Amanda Kelly, Koen Pijnappels and Esben Svendsen contributed to this report.

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