* Amazon.com Inc. is looking to roll out Amazon Channels in France, Digital TV Europe reports, citing local media. The company is said to have hired a Paris-based executive to lead the project and has begun talks with French channels, BFMTV reports, citing sources.
* Modern Times Group has named Filippa Wallestam CEO of its Swedish unit. Wallestam, who had previously worked as head of Nordic Entertainment Operations, will have direct responsibility for TV3, TV6, TV8, TV10, Viasat and Viafree in Sweden.
* Peter Hutton is stepping down as CEO of Discovery Inc.'s Eurosport (UK) to join Facebook Inc. as director of global live sports partnerships and programming, The Hollywood Reporter said, citing a post by Dan Reed, head of global sports partnerships.
UK AND IRELAND
* Christopher Wylie, the whistleblower behind the Cambridge Analytica LLC privacy scandal involving Facebook user data, discredited earlier claims made by the political consulting firm about its ties to the social media giant as he appeared before U.K. lawmakers in London.
* Facebook will send either Chief Technology Officer Mike Schroepfer or Chief Product Officer Chris Cox to give evidence before the House of Commons' Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee, Rebecca Stimson, head of public policy for Facebook UK, told committee Chair Damian Collins. Collins said "it is absolutely astonishing that Mark Zuckerberg is not prepared to submit himself to questioning" after the social media company said it would send another executive to appear before the British lawmakers, Reuters reports.
* MarketInvoice Ltd. signed agreements with two European lenders to add £135 million to its platform, the U.K.-based peer-to-peer lending platform operator said. Portuguese lender Banco BNI Europa provided £90 million on the British firm's platform, while Germany-based Varengold Bank AG invested £45 million to support its funding of invoices and business loans to U.K. companies.
GERMANY, SWITZERLAND AND AUSTRIA
* Mark Zuckerberg has apologized to German users in the wake of the data breach scandal and has vowed to take necessary measures to prevent such a violation from happening again, Handelsblatt reports.
* Deutsche Telekom AG and Vodafone Group Plc's Vodafone Deutschland Gmbh may face prosecution for failing to issue the necessary mobile phone data of suspects in two murder cases, despite requests from the local court, Handelsblatt reports.
* Bertelsmann SE & Co. KGaA reported a record level operating EBITDA of more than €2.6 billion in 2017, up 2.7% on the previous year, attributed to improved organic growth, especially by the RTL Group. Digital activities generated 46% of total revenue last year.
* At the Africa CEO Forum in Abidjan in Côte d'Ivoire, Orange SA announced the launch of a service that offers solar energy to rural populations in Burkina Faso, and later, in Senegal, Mali, Guinea and Côte d'Ivoire. The French telecom already offers it in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Madagascar, and says it intends to expand to provide these services directly to the general public or as a wholesaler to public operators.
* Tencent Holdings Ltd. has committed not to increase its stake in video game publisher Ubisoft Entertainment SA beyond 5% for five years, reports Le Figaro. An agreement was reached between the two groups and made public by the Autorité des marchés financiers.
NETHERLANDS, BELGIUM AND LUXEMBOURG
* Netherlands-based VEON has appointed Ursula Burns as executive chairman, effective immediately, following the resignation of CEO Jean-Yves Charlier. Burns will return to her role as board chairman once a CEO has been selected.
* ICT infrastructure provider Telindus NV has taken over managed security provider ion-ip BV, for an undisclosed amount. According to Telindus, which provides IT solutions for Belgian operator Proximus, the takeover enhances its managed services portfolio.
* Telenet has begun using solutions of Canadian network intelligence provider Sandvine Corp. in the operator's cable, Wi-Fi and mobile networks. A customer since 2013, Telenet has deployed Sandvine's virtualized analytics, network optimization, and revenue generation solutions across multiple access technologies.
* Ziggo NV has begun offering all theme channels from public broadcaster NPO in its basic subscription, reports TotaalTV. The Liberty Global plc unit's move coincides with the name changes of NPO's theme channels: NPO Best becomes NPO 1 extra, NPO Cultura becomes NPO 2 extra and NPO 101 becomes NPO 3 extra.
* Ericsson AB said it appointed Xavier Dedullen as senior vice president, chief legal officer and head of legal affairs and compliance, replacing Nina Macpherson. Dedullen, who was group general counsel and chief compliance officer for LafargeHolcim Ltd., will also be part of Ericsson's executive team.
* Ericsson has been contracted by Melita Mobile Ltd. to modernize its mobile network in Malta. Ericsson will deliver next-generation services to expand Melita's network and prepare it for 5G. The network upgrade comprises 5G-ready multistandard solutions.
* Nokia Oy's board has proposed payment of a 19 euro cents per share dividend for 2017, according to Nokia Corp. The proposal will be made at Nokia's annual general meeting on May 30.
* Telecom Italia SpA has informed Italian regulator Agcom that it has begun separating the company's fixed access network segment. The business unit will became a separate legal entity under the name NetCo.
* Telecom Italia's board of statutory auditors has also agreed to supplement the agenda in the shareholders' meeting to be held April 24, in light of Elliott Associates LP's motion to replace six board members who have resigned. Agcom has begun an initial inquiry into the said board member resignations, a move that triggers a shareholder vote and is seen as an attempt by majority shareholder Vivendi SA to challenge Elliott, Reuters reports.
* Sky Italia SRL is nearing to close an agreement with Enel SpA unit Enel Open Fiber SPA for the Sky PLC unit to be allowed to provide streaming and high-speed broadband services, Reuters reports, citing two sources. The agreement, once signed, is anticipated to begin in 2019.
* Telefónica SA's Movistar+ will be rolling out 4K set-top boxes in Spain in the coming days, Advanced Television reports. The pay TV platform targets to provide more 4K content following the release of the set-top boxes.
* Ericsson is also set to face court trial in Greece in May, over a 4 billion Swedish kronor military radar system sold to the state in 1999, writes Svenska Dagbladet. Prosecutors claim Ericsson Microwave Systems paid Greek officials cash incentives to secure a deal.
* MegaFon unit Lefbord Investments Ltd. is seeking Federal Antimonopoly Service approval to acquire Solvers Group's Svyaznoy Logistics, as well as Mobile Telecommunications Service, Telecompaper reports. The Russian operator eyes to release a decision by May 21.
* Polish companies P4, doing business as Play, and Easyhost have filed with the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection for an approval of a planned joint venture for wholesale fixed network services, Telecompaper reports, Rpkom.pl. The planned joint venture is said to be in preparation for anticipated tenders for new network build projects.
* Belarusian broadcaster Belteleradiocompany will convert its TV channels to HD from March 29 to March 30, Broadband TV News reports. Cable and IPTV subscribers in Minsk and the Minsk region will be first areas to utilize the HD channels. The transition is anticipated to be completed for the entire country by November.
HBO GO debuts in Poland; RTL Group to launch VOD in Croatia, Hungary: HBO rolled out its stand-alone subscription service HBO GO in Poland, while RTL Group unveiled plans to launch video-on-demand services in Belgium, Croatia and Hungary.
GDC 2018 highlights the promise of enterprise VR: This year's Game Developers Conference, held March 19-23 in San Francisco, saw virtual reality developers and hardware manufacturers shifting their focus to enterprise markets.
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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