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Fox, Sky agree on £11.7B deal; United Internet buys Deutsche Telekom unit

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Fox, Sky agree on £11.7B deal; United Internet buys Deutsche Telekom unit

TOP NEWS

* 21st Century Fox Inc. and Sky plc agreed upon the terms of a recommended pre-conditional cash offer, representing a value of about £11.7 billion, for the fully diluted share capital of the European pay TV operator that Fox does not own. Fox said that it expects the deal to close before the end of 2017.

* United Internet AG agreed to acquire German internet service provider Strato for around €600 million from Deutsche Telekom AG in a cash transaction, according to a press release. The transaction will be made via a holding structure to be established as part of an investment of Warburg Pincus in United Internet.

UK AND IRELAND

* The Irish Data Protection Commissioner said it is "urgently examining" facts regarding the latest Yahoo! Inc. data breach, to determine if European data laws were breached. Yahoo EMEA, Yahoo's Dublin-based European hub, is under Irish jurisdiction to ensure adequate security measures regarding its transfers of personal data.

* The British government published the BBC's new 11-year charter and framework agreement, which will take effect Jan. 1, 2017. The charter provides, among others, that the license fee will fund the broadcaster's operations over the next 11 years; most members in the BBC's new board will not be government-appointed; and Ofcom will serve as the BBC's first external regulator, effective April 3, 2017.

* British media regulator Ofcom published several consultations and other information related to its upcoming assumption of duties as the BBC's first external regulator. Ofcom is set to release an operating framework for the BBC in the coming months.

* British Telecom and Deutsche Telekom AG unit T-Systems have agreed to collaborate on the delivery of cloud services for SAP solutions. BT Compute for SAP solutions, a platform-as-a-service offering will be available to customers beginning early 2017 in the U.K. and continental Europe.

* TalkTalk Telecom Group PLC said that it extended its deal with Time Warner Inc.'s Turner Broadcasting System Inc. by adding preschool channel Cartoonito (UK) to TalkTalk TV's roster.

* The British Broadcasting Corp. launched its virtual reality production "We Wait" on the Oculus store, produced by BBC Connected Studio and Aardman Digital, Rapid TV News reports. The film, which combines animation with real-life accounts of migrants collected by BBC News, is available worldwide for free.

GERMANY, SWITZERLAND AND AUSTRIA

* German internet platform Sportdeutschland.tv is looking to acquire the rights to broadcast the handball world championship in France in January, according to specialist publication Infosat. Streaming service DAZN is already negotiating.

* German hotel search platform Trivago, which is majority-owned by U.S. online travel agency Expedia Inc., raised $287 million in an IPO, reports Reuters, citing a person familiar with the matter. The person told the news agency that this had fallen "far below expectations."

* The German Federal Office for Information Security, or BSI, urged citizens using Yahoo in a statement to consider switching to an alternative email provider after Yahoo admitted to another data breach. The BSI said its MD5 algorithm was no longer state-of-the-art technology and considered unsafe.

* Swisscom AG will continue to be Switzerland's basic telecommunications supplier from 2018 for five years, following a decision by the Federal Communications Commission (ComCom), according to a press release. Swisscom was the only bidder.

* Spaceopal, a joint venture between Italy's Telespazio and the German Space Agency, has been awarded the Galileo Service Operator contract worth up to €1.5 billion by the European GNSS Agency, according to a press release. The 10-year contract covers the operation and maintenance of the Galileo satellite system.

* German carmaker Volkswagen AG said it invested in Berlin-based e-mobility platform Hubject GmbH. The investment will enable Volkswagen to push through with plans for the digital interconnection of charging stations for electric vehicles, beginning in early 2017.

FRANCE

* Altice NV's SFR has signed a distribution agreement with Discovery Communications Inc.'s Discovery Channel. From Thursday, customers can access Discovery Channel, Discover Science and exclusively in France with SFR, Discovery Investigation.

* Le Monde reports that, for the first time, the CSA has issued a warning to a YouTube channel, "Les Recettes Pompettes," a Canal Plus Group SA import from Canada. The French regulator is concerned it promotes alcohol abuse. A warning could be followed by a formal notice, paving the way for a fine, a suspension of the program, or, theoretically, a cancellation of its right to broadcast.

* France 3 is reorganizing its network in 13 regions, according to Les Echos. The public TV channel wants to double regional programming by 2020 and give more visibility to the regions on air and digitally.

* Franceinfo programming was severely disrupted by a strike on Thursday, reports Le Monde. Unions are asking for better pay for radio journalists, as they also work for the public TV channel.

* SoLocal has obtained the necessary approval from its shareholders to proceed with its financial restructuring plan, reports Reuters. The company, which owns Yellow Pages, hopes the plan will reduce debt by two-thirds, allow it to invest in digital and help it to avoid receivership.

* For the first time, a public consultation to determine the allocation and uses of 5G frequencies will take place, reports Le Figaro. France's national frequency agency wants to ensure that latency issues are addressed and there will be the connectivity and speed necessary to fulfill demand for 5G when it launches in 2020.

NETHERLANDS, BELGIUM AND LUXEMBOURG

* The Dutch government will require telecom providers to offer fast internet in all inhabited areas in the Netherlands in the future, writes Nu.nl. This nationwide coverage obligation will be imposed in future auctions of mobile frequencies, such as those for the new 5G internet.

* The offer from Flemish publisher Mediahuis to buy Dutch media company TMG has had little enthusiasm among TMG shareholders, FD reports. Wednesday Mediahuis announced it would provide €243 million to buy the Dutch company, which was followed by a highly critical response from 20% shareholder Frank Botman and little response from other shareholders.

* The number of text messages sent in the Netherlands increased for the first time in a year in the second quarter, De Telegraaf writes, quoting research from the Dutch Authority for Consumers and Markets. In addition, the mobile data usage has heavily increased, with the use of the fast 4G network increased by 29%.

* The Dutch DPA, which protects citizens' personal data, thinks that a new tapping law which should give intelligence services more powers, violates human rights, reports Nu.nl. The privacy regulator has sent a letter with its objections to the Dutch Lower House, saying that the surveillance on implementation of the law is not well regulated.

NORDIC COUNTRIES

* Telenor ASA held discussions with Idea Cellular about a cashless sale of its Indian operations, The Economic Times of India reports, citing a person familiar with the matter. Under the proposal, the Indian mobile operator will reportedly assume all liabilities and assets of Telenor India, but without an actual payout.

* Nokia Corp. is to acquire American real-time analytics company Deepfield Inc., the company said. Deepfield specializes in the delivery of real-time analytics for IP network performance management and security. The acquisition strengthens Nokia's reach within analytics-driven network and service automation.

* Norway's Ministry of Culture plans to abolish the television licence fee funding mechanism for public broadcaster NRK, reports Norwegian business website e24.no. Under the proposed new model, the licence fee would be replaced by a so-called technology-neutral media charge to be levied on either households or individuals.

* Yle's board has voted confidence in CEO Lauri Kivinen, reports the Finnish Yle Uutiset news website. The board also backed Atte Jääskeläinen, Yle's editor-in-chief of news and current affairs. The board's action came in the wake of resignations by journalists citing restrictions to their freedom of speech and negative journalistic practices at Yle.

SOUTHERN EUROPE

* Telecom Italia SpA said it has nothing to do with Vivendi SA's "hostile raid" on Mediaset SpA's stake, Reuters reports.

* Spanish broadcaster Atresmedia's Atreseries and ¡Hola! TV will be distributed in Mexico beginning Dec. 23, under a partnership with Grupo Televisa SAB-owned Sky Mexico, Rapid TV News reports.

* In line with the second DTT migration set for 2020 or 2022, the Spanish government is seeking an agreement with the parties involved "to set the schedule and the procedure to release the (700 MHz) band," Advanced Television reports.

EASTERN EUROPE

* Ukraine's 1+1 Media contracted satellite operator SES SA to host all of its eight channels on SES' satellite, according to a press release.

* Slovak regulator RU launched an interactive comparison website for all offers of fixed broadband available at a specific location, Telecompaper reports. Information on average monthly operator charges over a 24-month period is also included in the updated portal.

* O2 Czech Republic a.s. reached speeds of up to 550 Mbps when it tested 4.5G technology in Prague, Telecompaper reports. The Czech operator borrowed equipment from Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. in conducting the trials.

* Russia's Akado Telecom is issuing bonds in a bid to raise up to 3.5 billion Russian rubles, Broadband TV News reports, citing Vedomosti. The cable operator will use the bond issue's proceeds for developing its business in Moscow.

FEATURED NEWS

Data Dispatch: 'Rogue One' to bow to 'Force Awakens,' but incinerate holiday competition: Disney's newest title in its Star Wars franchise is tracking to be the year's premier blockbuster, even if it falls short of 2015's installment on a few metrics.

The Program Guide: 'Workaholics' final season to premiere Jan. 11; Netflix cancels 'Marco Polo': The latest installment of The Program Guide includes the debut of new show "Holmes & Holmes" on DIY Network and the Jan. 15, 2017, debut of "First Family of Hip Hop" on Bravo.

Hires and Fires Europe: European Media & Comm moves through Dec. 14: Twitter, Telefónica, Türk Telekom: S&P Global Market Intelligence presents a biweekly rundown of executive and board changes in the European media and communications industries.

FEATURED RESEARCH

Economics of TV & Film: Film release windows maintain the course set in past years in 2016: We conducted our annual study of release windows, the 181 films we tracked in 2016 were released on PPV/VOD an average 12 days before they were released on DVD/Blu-ray.

Phoebe Magdirila, Amanda Kelly, Stefanie Eschenbacher, 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.