* Liberty Global PLC named Baptiest Coopmans, the company's senior vice president of operations, as the new CEO of its Swiss unit UPC Schweiz. Coopmans will replace Severina Pascu, who is moving to Virgin Media to become CFO and deputy CEO, effective Feb. 1.
* Netflix Inc. diverted up to $430 million of profit from its global operations to tax havens such as the Netherlands in 2018, according to investigative think tank Tax Watch UK. Its analysis found the streaming company paid no tax in the U.K. despite recording £860 million of revenue in the country.
* Nokia Corp. plans to lay off about 180 employees in Finland this year, Reuters reported, citing a company statement. The company, which hired about 370 people in Finland in 2019, has a workforce of about 6,000 employees in the country. The job cuts will not affect staffers involved in 5G product development in Oulu, Nokia said.
* Spotify AB struck a new global licensing agreement with Warner Chappell Music, Music Business Worldwide reports. Warner had taken Spotify to the Bombay High Court over the streaming service's launch in India, where it offered Warner's catalog without the company's permission.
* European Union Commissioner for the internal market Thierry Breton is formulating a plan to help EU companies utilize electronic data they generate, London's Financial Times reports. The plans include having common rules to make intra-EU data transfers easier, the report said, citing sources.
* Facebook Inc. appointed Derya Matras regional director for the Middle East, Africa and Turkey, Telecompaper reports.
* European privacy regulators imposed €410 million in penalties to organizations in 2019 over data protection violations, Dublin's The Irish Times reports, citing figures from Italian data protection body Osservatorio di Federprivacy. The U.K. issued the highest amount of penalties with €312 million in total, while Italy's data protection authority was the most active with 30 actions.
UK AND IRELAND
* U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the country will seek the best technology for the rollout of next-generation wireless networks when asked for his stance on Chinese telecommunications equipment supplier Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd., a company the U.S. has been lobbying its allies to avoid due to security concerns.
* The board of Guardian Media Group PLC appointed Annette Thomas as CEO, effective March 2. Anna Bateson will continue as interim CEO until that date, before returning as chief customer officer.
* The British Broadcasting Corp. is planning to move about two-thirds of its staff out of London, Director General Tony Hall wrote in the Financial Times. Reports cited by TBI Vision suggest up to 3,000 jobs might be transferred to other regions.
* Sky Ltd.'s Sky Sports is teaming up with NBCUniversal Media LLC's sports brands for SportsTech, a global accelerator for sports technology startups. Comcast Corp. owns NBCUniversal and Sky.
* Dutch private equity firm Gryphion Ltd. and other private investors acquired a minority stake in London-based visual effects company Cinesite VFX Ltd.
* The Irish High Court dismissed a $6 million counterclaim against Microsoft Corp. unit Microsoft Ireland Operations Ltd. over its alleged failure to honor a deal covering the distribution of the tech company's products in Saudi Arabia, The Irish Times reports. Saudi Arabian company Moneer Omar Thabit Trading Establishment filed the counterclaim.
* U.K. managed network services provider MLL Telecom Ltd. named Shaun Ledgerwood its new CEO. Ledgerwood will replace Gary Marven, who is retiring after a 10-year stint but will stay with the company as a director.
* Spanish soccer league La Liga rolled out its namesake TV channel in the U.K., Digital TV Europe reports. The channel will be available to Sky TV customers.
GERMANY, SWITZERLAND AND AUSTRIA
* Germany's Federal Court of Justice ruled that review portals such as Yelp Inc. can base their ratings of companies on automated selections, Tagesschau reports. The dispute involved a gym operator who argued that Yelp reviews did not factor in many of the positive reviews the studios had received.
* Streaming platform Joyn, a joint venture by German commercial broadcaster ProSiebenSat.1 Media SE and Discovery Inc., announced 39% user growth in 2019. Around 7 million users tune into the streaming service each month.
* German fiber-optic network provider Deutsche Glasfaser Holding GmbH expanded its borrowing capacity to €1.8 billion. The KKR & Co. Inc.-controlled company plans to use the funds for further investments in its network.
* Iliad SA's Free enabled access to YouTube LLC's YouTube Kids platform on its Freebox device. Alphabet Inc. unit Google LLC owns YouTube.
* Dailymotion SA plans to accelerate its video solution business in South Korea to support local publishers. The video streaming platform is partnering with publishers such as HuffPost Korea, YTN, NBA G-League and L'Équipe, in order to host and provide video solutions to MBC Sports+ and TV Chosun.
* Former EndemolShine France SAS managing director Delphine Cazaux will become director general in charge of operations at audiovisual group Mediawan SA, effective Jan. 27.
* French privacy regulator CNIL launched a public consultation for its draft recommendation on cookies and other internet tracers. It is requesting recommendations for practical methods of obtaining internet user's consent for operators using tracers.
* Netflix and other companies must invest 25% of their turnover in France as part of proposed audiovisual reforms by the country's culture ministry, Les Echos reports. The reforms will also address how relations between producers and broadcasters will be governed.
NETHERLANDS, BELGIUM AND LUXEMBOURG
* Dutch telco KPN NV will continue offering services under the XS4All brand, while integrating the unit's back office operations, De Telegraaf reports, quoting CEO Joost Farwerck. The decision follows discussions and a court case with employees at the subsidiary.
* One in three Flemish cities and municipalities was affected by an internet outage that disrupted access to online services and IT networks, VRT reports. The outage was reportedly due to a breakdown at three nodes of the Belnet network, the Belgian research network that provides network infrastructure and IT services to research institutions, universities and governments.
* Mobile operator Hi3G Denmark ApS, or Three Denmark, is offering data and subscription sharing to all companies.
* Turkey's ban on online encyclopedia Wikipedia will be lifted following the scheduled publication of the ruling the Constitutional Court, which stated that the ban was a violation of freedom of expression, Reuters reports.
* Italian regulator Agcom imposed a fine of about €4.8 million against Telecom Italia SpA over violations of the country's consumer code, Telecompaper reports. The Italian operator allegedly failed to provide detailed information on offers it made to attract former subscribers.
* Greek operator OTE, doing business as Cosmote SA, invited the Telecom Federation to jointly arrange a new labor agreement with trade union OME-OTE, Telecompaper reports.
* Orange Slovensko as is looking to introduce its own direct-to-home set-top box in the first half of 2020, Broadband TV News reports. The mobile network operator was supposed to introduce its own cable box in 2018.
* Polkomtel Sp zoo, operating as Plus, hired Asseco Poland SA IT Director Radosław Semkło as a member of its management board, Telecompaper reports. Cyfrowy Polsat SA, Polkomtel's parent company, recently bought almost 22% of Asseco Poland's shares.
* Rostelecom PJSC unit OJSC RTComm.RU teamed up with OJSC Satellite System Gonets to work together on increasing telecommunication services' coverage in Russia, Telecompaper reports. The partnership is anticipated to lead to development and convergent services for businesses and state agencies.
* Discovery turned down Telekom Romania Communications SA's request to develop new packages that will exclusively carry the Romanian operator's channels, Broadband TV News reports, citing Ziarul Financiar. Discovery sees Telekom Romania's move as discrimination against its channels.
5G Focus: CES 2020 updates; US move against Huawei; Rollout in Poland: 5G Focus is a weekly global feature including notable 5G trials, launches, use cases and major equipment supply contracts. It also features in-depth analysis of strategies, expansion plans, business models and other related initiatives.
Wireless Investor: New: Global mobile index: Kagan provides links to its current and historical profiles of mobile communications markets.
Technology: Virtual reality tries 8K on for size at CES: It may be fair to raise an eyebrow at the Pimax 8KX, which is expected to sell for $1,299 later this year, but the headset lays out a distinctly more immersive future for consumer VR.
Anne Freier, Amanda Kelly, Marieke Pijnappels and Esben Svendsen contributed to this report.
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