* Deutsche Telekom AG has launched a lawsuit against the German Bundesnetzagentur over its rules to award 5G mobile frequencies, Handelsblatt reports, citing Die Welt. German telecoms companies Vodafone Group PLC's Vodafone Deutschland Gmbh and Telefónica SA's Telefónica Deutschland Holding AG have already launched similar legal complaints. The operators are contesting revision to the rules for the 5G bid, which would allow a new player without its own network to bid for a 5G license, Reuters reports.
* Mikhail Dyomin has stepped down as the CEO of NTV-Plus, Telecompaper reports, citing Vedomosti. The Russian direct-to-home operator selected deputy CEO Natalya Gorbunova to serve as the company's acting CEO.
UK AND IRELAND
* S4 Capital plc has completed the deal to acquire U.S.-based MightyHive Inc. in late December 2018, Reuters reports. The London-based advertising company is also working on its budget for next year and has gained two new unnamed "major global clients during the previous month.
* The U.K. government said it has allotted £7 million investment to build micro robots intended to repair the country's underground pipe network. Flying and underwater robots is also planned to look into oil and gas pressure vessels, as well as offshore wind turbines, which will be part of the additional £19.6 million investment allocation through the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund.
* McLaren Automotive Ltd. has entered into an estimated £35 million deal to provide a "failover mission control" system to Uber Technologies Inc.'s self-driving car business, London's The Daily Telegraph reports, citing two sources. The British car company develops self-driving car technology in the U.K. under its Mclaren Applied Technologies Ltd. business segment.
GERMANY, SWITZERLAND AND AUSTRIA
* German music channel Viva has officially shut down last Dec. 31, 2018, after owner Viacom Inc. announced back in summer 2018 that it would pull the plug, reports RTL.
* Groupe M6's pay-TV channels are now available on Freebox TV, Univers Freebox reports. The channels will be free until Jan. 16 for Freebox Mini 4K, Freebox One and Freebox Crystal subscribers.
* Iliad founder and majority shareholder Xavier Niel said in an interview with Univers Freebox that Free will be launching new products on the Freebox Delta, following the nearing of the end of roaming with Orange SA. According to Niel, a new generation of Freebox will be introduced.
NETHERLANDS, BELGIUM AND LUXEMBOURG
* Ziggo NV will soon abandon analog FM cable radio in order to improve internet speed and stability, TotaalTV reports. The move is reportedly a result of the infrastructure layout roadmap presented recently by Liberty Global PLC, which owns a 50% stake in VodafoneZiggo.
* Belgian startup DataBroker DAO, owned by SettleMint BVBA, has opened an online trading platform for internet-of-things data called Mint in Action, Knack reports.
* Nokia Corp. said it that Sandra Motley will serve as president of its fixed networks business group, effective Jan. 1. Motley replaces Federico Guillén who was appointed as Nokia's president of customer operations for the EMEA and APAC regions.
* Telenor ASA unit Telenor Norway has filed a complaint with the country's competition authority against a 788 Norwegian kroner fine for impeding the development of a new Norwegian mobile network, Telecompaper reports, citing Finansavisen.no. Telenor Communications Director Anders Krokan contended that the Norwegian operator's price models for other operators were accurate.
* Vodafone España SAU and Orange Espagne SAU are looking into working with Chinese companies Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. and ZTE Corp. for 5G pilot projects, Telecompaper reports, citing Expansion.
* Spanish operator MásMóvil Ibercom SA will expand its fibre broadband coverage in Cantabria, through an agreement with Adamo Telecom Iberia SA, Telecompaper reports, citing El Montanes.
* Yandex NV has acquired about four hectares of land for its new headquarters in Moscow for an estimated $145 million, Telecompaper reports, citing Tdaily.ru. The Russian internet search engine company eyes to create a design proposal for the planned building and will provide an anticipated timing and expenses once the project receives its necessary approvals.
* Russian operators Mobile TeleSystems PJSC, VEON's Beeline, MegaFon and Tele2 AB's Tele2 Russia are planning to form a consortium for 5G and are ready to share use of frequencies in the 3.4 GHz to 3.8 GHz band for 5G, according to Telecompaper. However, Russia's State Commission on Radio Frequencies has not yet given 5G band allocations.
* The Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine has slapped a 109,800 Ukrainian hryvnia fine against Huawei's Ukrainian unit for violating the country's competition law, Telecompaper reports.
M&A Replay: European deals: Tele2 to sell Kazakhstan JV stake; NEC buying Danish IT company: Swedish telco Tele2 is selling its stake in its joint venture in Kazakhstan to its venture partner Kazakhtelecom, while Japanese tech company NEC agreed to acquire Danish IT company KMD.
Economics of Internet: Scandals fail to shake Facebook's grip on the social ad sector: The year 2018 has been rocky for Facebook from a public relations standpoint, but assorted gaffes and user privacy concerns have yet to impact the company's bottom line.
Anne Freier, Sylvia Edwards Davis, Koen Pijnappels and Gerard O'Dwyer contributed to this report.
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