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EU approves Apple-Shazam deal; Verizon, Nokia advance in 5G tie-up


* The European Commission has cleared Apple Inc.'s proposed acquisition of British music recognition app Shazam Entertainment Ltd. While approving the deal, the commission concluded that the merger would not adversely affect competition in the European Economic Area or any substantial part of it, according to a news release.

* Verizon Communications Inc. and Nokia Corp. completed the first over-the-air, end-to-end data transmission on a commercial 3GPP 5G New Radio network in Washington, D.C. The transmission was part of the two companies' ongoing demonstrations of 5G New Radio technology before commercial 5G mobile service launches in 2019, according to a news release.


* BBC Studios Ltd. and Telekom Malaysia's IPTV service unifi TV jointly announced that the BBC Player will be available to 2 million more subscribers in Malaysia. From Sept. 18, all unifi broadband subscribers as well as pre-unifi customers will now have access to the British Broadcasting Corp.-owned streaming service.

* Fiber instructure operator CityFibre Infrastructure Holdings PLC has tapped telecom equipment provider Calix Inc. for the rollout of the Axos software-defined access operating system across the former's fiber networks, according to a news release.

* Netflix Inc.'s Scottish historical action drama "Outlaw King" kicked off this year's edition of the Toronto International Film Festival, Reuters reports. The streaming giant's participation in Toronto came months after it boycotted the Cannes Film Festival in May due to French rules requiring the release of its films in French cinemas.

* Investment company Kilcullen Kapital Partners has agreed to acquire The Sunday Business Post from Sunrise Media Ltd. for an undisclosed price, according to a statement.


* Insider Inc., an umbrella company of Axel Springer SE-owned business news brand Business Insider, has expanded its news program for Facebook Inc.'s Watch video service.

* Giuseppe Vita, chairman of Axel Springer's supervisory board, is leaving his post by spring 2019, Reuters reports, citing sources. Vita will reportedly not stand for re-election at the company's general meeting next year.

* Thomas de Maizière has been named as the new chairman of Deutsche Telekom AG's non-profit arm Deutsche Telekom Stiftung, succeeding Wolfgang Schuster.


* Orange SA issued a seven-year, 1% €800 million bond and a 12-year, 1.875% €1.2 billion bond. The company said Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Société Générale, Crédit Agricole CIB, Deutsche Bank, Natwest Markets, Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria, Goldman Sachs International and MUFG are acting as book runners, with BofA Merrill Lynch and Société Générale also acting as global coordinators.

* Around 400 representatives from across the media and culture industries, including French Culture Minister Françoise Nyssen, campaigned in Paris ahead of the EU Parliament vote on copyright, CB News reports. On the crosshairs is YouTube, which "pays 10 times less than Spotify or Deezer," as well as other content platforms. YouTube is owned by Alphabet Inc.'s Google LLC.

* Eutelsat Communications SA unveiled a new cloud-based platform named Cirrus to support turnkey TV and video services offered by its customers. The company said the hybrid satellite/over-the-top solution will enable satellite TV channels and operators to offer a flexible multiscreen consumer experience.


* Dutch public broadcaster NPO will receive €40 million of extra government support to compensate for diminishing advertising incomes, NOS reports. Media Minister Arie Slob has reportedly said it was NPO's own responsibility to fix its 2019 budget, although NPO claimed it needs another €62 million.

* Sanoma Media Netherlands BV said it appointed Rob Kolkman as CEO, effective Jan. 1, 2019. Kolkman, who previously held several functions at Reed Business Information, will report to Sanoma Oyj President and CEO Susan Duinhoven.

* Medialaan appointed An Goovaerts as interim editor-in-chief of VTM Nieuws. Currently editor-in-chief at De Morgen, Goovaerts will succeed Nicholas Lataire who is leaving VTM Nieuws along with News Director Kris Hoflack.

* Mediahuis NV shareholder Van Puijenbroek lost a €29 million tax case against the Belgian Special Tax Inspectorate, De Tijd reports. The case reportedly involved a tax claim initiated by the Special Tax Inspectorate in 2011 due to tax benefits unlawfully received in Belgium and Luxembourg.


* Telia Co. AB's Telia Denmark and Telenor ASA unit Telenor Denmark said in separate news releases that they are offering download speeds of up to 1 Gbps in their shared mobile network, claiming to be the first operators in Denmark to do so. The download speed is presently only available through a single mast in Copenhagen, but will be rolled out in all large Danish cities.

* Chinese state-owned telecom operator China Unicom has teamed up with Ericsson and Nokia, among other companies, to launch its own virtual reality platform, China Securities Journal reports.

* Telenor Sweden AB said it has dropped the roaming charges in several more countries, making it possible for its customers to surf the web without roaming charges in 41 countries. The new countries are Turkey, the U.S., Switzerland, Andorra, Serbia and Montenegro. The company also said that it is removing all commitment periods from its subscriptions.

* The Norwegian government is close to landing a deal with TV2 on commercial public broadcasting, the Ministry of Culture told Dagens Næringsliv. The deal has been delayed for nine months, as the broadcaster and the government disagree on what should be included. TV2, which already holds the contract as commercial public broadcaster, is set to receive subsidies of as much as 675 million Norwegian kroner annually.


* Vodafone España SAU and MásMóvil Ibercom SA have agreed to share fiber-to-the-home networks, which would cover about 1.9 million households in Spain, Advanced Television reports. The deal would give the Vodafone Group PLC unit access to about 100,000 homes that are not covered by its own network and shared infrastructure.

* Belgium-based Zappware NV and Germany-headquartered castLabs GmbH have teamed up to provide video delivery solution for WIND Hellas Telecommunications SA's new TV service called Wind Vision, according to a news release. WIND Hellas' new offering can be accessible through set-top boxes, mobile devices and Android TV.

* Telefónica SA has introduced sports-based package Movistar+ Bar, which will give bars, cafeterias and restaurants access to broadcasts of sports matches, such as La Liga, Champions League and Europa League, Serie A and Ligue 1, Telecompaper reports. The service costs €320 monthly for the first six months and will increase to €395 monthly thereafter.

* Telefónica is also expanding its FTTH deployment in Brazil to 20 more cities later in 2018, Advanced Television reports. The company's fiber network already covers about 100 cities in the country.


* Yandex NV eyes adding more functions to its digital assistant Alice, Telecompaper reports, citing Vedomosti. By 2019, the voice assistant can be communicated with in the Ukrainian, Kazakh and Belarusian languages.

* The Russian government has decided to delay the launch of 5G in the country to late 2021, Telecompaper reports, citing Deputy Prime Minister Maksim Akimov's statement to Vedomosti. The 5G network is planned to be deployed in all cities with more than 1 million residents by 2020.

* Orange Polska SA has completed refarming its 900 MHz band, which allows to allot more 2G spectrum for 3G, Telecompaper reports. The Orange unit will now begin refarming the 1800 MHz and 2100 MHz bands.

* German online co-working startup Rent 24 has expanded its network into Serbia with the takeover of local provider Nova Iskra.


Hires and Fires Europe: Telenor shuffles management; WPP appoints CEO: S&P Global Market Intelligence presents a biweekly rundown of executive and board changes in the European media and communications industries.

Hires and Fires: Netflix taps Disney exec to lead consumer products; Paramount TV gets president: Christie Fleischer left Walt Disney to join Netflix as global head of consumer products, while Paramount Television named Nicole Clemens president of the company.


Wireless Investor: Australia juggles regional 4G expansion, metro 5G pilot tests: While Australia's metropolitan areas are seeing the dawn of 5G, some rural and remote communities in the country are only starting to receive their first mobile connection in 2018.

Anne Freier, Sylvia Edwards Davis, Koen Pijnappels and Esben Svendsen contributed to this report.

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