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Microsoft completes LinkedIn deal; Altice eyes US IPO

TOP NEWS

* Microsoft Corp. said it completed its acquisition of LinkedIn Corp. for about $26.4 billion. The European Commission recently granted conditional approval to the merger agreement after the tech giant submitted a number of concessions.

* Altice NV confirmed that it is "exploring the possibility" of an IPO for a minority stake in its unit Altice USA, FierceCable reports. With a U.S. listing, Altice will be able to make more acquisitions, including small and midsized telecom companies.

PAN-EUROPEAN

* The European Commission agreed on a revised draft of rules that will put anti-abuse safeguards on the proposed end of roaming charges across the EU in June 2017. The revisions include eliminating unnecessary checks or documentation requests for consumers.

UK AND IRELAND

* Ofcom is set to become the first external regulator of the British Broadcasting Corp., effective April 2017, under the broadcasting firm's new royal charter, according to a news release. The British regulator will develop a framework in regulating the BBC in the coming months.

* British Telecom and Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. teamed up for the global development of 5G mobile technologies, according to a news release. The companies will conduct a technical and commercial feasibility of the technologies.

* Prominent female figures, such as Joan Bakewell and Tessa Jowell, called for an explanation for the impediment of Anthea Efunshile's appointment on the Channel 4 (UK)'s board, BBC News reports. Culture Secretary Karen Bradley vetoed Efunshile's appointment.

* ITV Plc is now offering a tiered "freemium" service, Hub+, on The ITV Hub platform that lets subscribers pay for various features, including an ad-free service.

* ITV Studios Global Entertainment promoted Julie Meldal-Johnsen to director of global content, Broadcast reports. The new director for ITV's distribution arm will oversee the company's program acquisitions, co-productions and content strategy.

GERMANY, SWITZERLAND AND AUSTRIA

* Grand Chip Investment GmbH canceled its planned acquisition of semiconductor firm Aixtron SE due to U.S. President Barack Obama's block on the deal, according to a news release.

* U.S. financial investor KKR has plans to take over an 18.54% stake in German marketing company GfK, Handelsblatt reports. The move will be helping GfK to refocus the business toward the digital marketing environment.

* Axel Springer SE has announced the launch of a new sports magazine called Fußball Bild, Meedia reports. The new magazine edition will be in stark contrast to the company's otherwise heavily digitally focused campaign.

* German public broadcaster RTL has announced a new design for its channel for the new year, DWDL reports.

* Gruner + Jahr AG & Co KG will be moving its headquarters into the German city Hamburg, according to a press release. The company will be building a new publishing house in the city and plans to move in 2021.

FRANCE

* Orange SA would consider acquiring Vivendi SA unit Societe d'Edition de Canal Plus SA, Reuters reports. Orange CEO Stéphane Richard said that he favors an alliance between the two groups in the event that Canal Plus would go on sale. Buying Canal Plus would reportedly enable Orange to go head to head with SFR Group - Cable.

* Orange launched its brand in Morocco, to replace the Méditel brand which counts 14.2 million customers by the end of September 2016. Orange has held 49% of Méditel's capital since July 2015 and consolidates its financial results in the Group's financial statements.

* Vivendi exceeded the 25% legal threshold of the Ubisoft share capital, holding 25.15% of the French video game publisher's share capital and 22.92% of its voting rights, according to a news release.

* The French Senate voted to suppress advertising on public French TV during programming aimed at children under 12, Les Echos reports. The measure would come into effect in 2018 if approved in a final vote in the lower house of Parliament.

* The Paris Administrative Court of Appeals dismissed an appeal by TF1 Group-owned TF1 (FR), demanding a compensation of €230 million from the French state for damages due to the end of analog TV, according to a filing.Bouygues Telecom

NETHERLANDS, BELGIUM AND LUXEMBOURG

* Liberty Global plc's Ziggo N.V. added six Italian channels to its Mediabox offering, including Rai 1, Rai 2, Rai 3 and Mediaset Italia (US), TotaalTV reports.

* Flemish public broadcaster VRT announced plans to launch a channel specifically aimed at children of up to six years old, MediaMagazine reports.

* Telecom provider Tele2 Netherlands has disconnected approximately 2,000 customers as a result of the overdue of processing manual payments, RTL Nieuws reports. Because of the delay of processing payments, some customers were seen as defaulters. According to Tele2, the problem is now fixed.

* The Dutch province of Drenthe will receive financial support from the European Investment Bank for the roll-out of broadband in regional areas, Telecompaper reports. The EIB allegedly wants to support more projects concerning the roll-out of broadband in the future.

* Vodafone UK's Vodafone Nederland has signed an agreement with Dutch company Conneqtech and bike lock producer Axa, to launch bike locks with a 2G connection to manage and secure bikes from a distance, Tweakers reports. Vodafone will provide SIM cards to allow the bikes to connect with their owners.

NORDIC COUNTRIES

* Spotify Ltd canceled plans to acquire rival SoundCloud as it prepares for an IPO in 2017, The Financial Times reports. Spotify reportedly wanted to avoid the flotation with costs and licensing agreements in line with the purchase, according to a source. This marks the second instance that Spotify's potential deal with SoundCloud fell apart.

* There is a conflict between the board chair and the CEO of Telenor ASA, Dagens Næringsliv reports. Chair Gunn Wærsted reportedly asked CEO Sigve Brekke to step down earlier this fall, but the rest of the board did not support Wærsted. In a fresh evaluation report, the lack of trust between Wærsted and Brekke, as well as the chair's lack of support from the board, is seen as a considerable problem for Telenor.

* Swedish biometrics company Fingerprint Cards has lowered its revenue forecast for 2016 to 6.6 billion to 6.8 billion Swedish kronor, from 7.2 billion to 7.5 billion kronor, SvD reports. The operating margin forecast is unchanged at 40%.

* The downsizing in Ericsson AB has gone faster than planned, with 1,600 employees in Sweden opting for voluntary redundancy, according to a press release.

* Swedish telecom and consumer electronics company Doro is planning to center its top management team at the company headquarters in Lund, according to a press release. As a result, France-based CEO Jerome Arnaud has decided to leave Doro.

SOUTHERN EUROPE

* Telecom Italia SpA launched fiber-to-the-home services in the Italian cities of Mogliano Veneto and Lanciano, Telecompaper said in separate reports. The Italian operator will also roll out a similar service in Biancavilla town, according to another Telecompaper report.

* Portuguese public broadcaster RTP is preparing the airing of an adaptation of Spanish fictional series "The Ministry of Time," Rapid TV News reports. RTP will reportedly premiere the localized series, entitled "Ministério do Tempo," before the end of 2016.

* Figures from Spanish telecom regulator CNMC revealed that revenues for the country's telecom and audiovisual sector were up 4.4% to €7.9 billion in the second quarter, compared to year-ago figures, Telecompaper reports. Telefónica S.A. cornered the largest share of revenues for the period at 44.8%, followed by Vodafone España S.A.U., Orange España, Atresmedia Corporación De Medios De Comunicación, S.A. and Mediaset SpA.

EASTERN EUROPE

* Telekom Austria Group, via its unit Vipnet, agreed to acquire a majority stake in Croatian operator Metronet telekomunikacije, according to a news release. The deal is expected to be completed by the first quarter of 2017. Telekom Austria is owned by América Móvil SAB de CV.

* Deutsche Telekom AG unit Makedonski Telekom AD - Skopje launched MaxTV Go, a service that will enable its customers to watch TV anywhere via smartphones or other mobile devices, Telecompaper reports.

* Mobile TeleSystems PJSC made its MTS.TV app available on Apple Inc.'s Apple TV, Telecompaper reports, citing Cnews.ru.

* Direct-to-home operator NTV-Plus is eyeing an entry into Russia's Far East, Mediasat reports, citing RBC. The JSC Gazprom-Media Holding unit reportedly leads bidders in a satellite broadcasting tender for the region.

* Deutsche Telekom unit T-Mobile Poland and Orange Polska SA extended their agreement on sharing radio access networks in the 800-MHz and 2,600-MHz bands, Telecompaper reports.

FEATURED NEWS

* Hires and Fires: US Media & Comm management moves through Dec. 7: Sprint, Twitter, Viacom: S&P Global Market Intelligence presents a weekly rundown of executive changes in the media and communications industries.

FEATURED RESEARCH

* Global Multichannel: AMC's UK network reports positive EBIT during first year: AMC can now look toward enhancing its schedule after a safe entry into the U.K. market.

Sylvia Edwards Davis, Anne Freier, Charlotte van Hek and Esben Svendsen contributed to this report. The Daily Dose has an editorial deadline of 7 a.m. London time. Some external links may require a subscription.