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HBO GO launches in Poland; Finnish gaming developer tests Netflix-like service


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HBO GO launches in Poland; Finnish gaming developer tests Netflix-like service


* Time Warner Inc.'s HBO (US) launched its stand-alone subscription service HBO GO in Poland. The service is being offered to consumers directly, without the requirement of a subscription with another pay TV operator.

* Finnish gaming developer Hatch Entertainment, a spinoff from "Angry Birds" maker Rovio Entertainment Oyj, is testing a new streaming service for mobile games that is patterned after film access on Netflix Inc., Reuters reports.


* European Union Justice Commissioner Vera Jourová asked Facebook Inc. COO Sheryl Sandberg whether Facebook users in the EU have been affected by mishandled data and how authorities and affected parties would be notified, Reuters reports, citing Jourová's letter to the Facebook executive. Meanwhile, a spokesman for Ireland's office of the Data Protection Commissioner said the regulator believes there are "less than 2,000 EU-based IP addresses among the 270,000 downloaders of the personality test," which is the source of the mishandled data, Dublin's The Irish Times reports.

* The U.K. and the EU are considering interim taxation on digital companies "to ensure that we are properly taxing these companies," Reuters reports, citing British Prime Minister Theresa May's statement to the European Parliament.

* Facebook will prioritize local news in all countries and in all languages. Initially introduced in the U.S., the move lets users see more news on the social network from local sources covering news about the city they are in and other cities they may care about, Facebook news executives said in a post on the company's Newsroom page.


* Uktv Media Ltd., a joint venture between British Broadcasting Corp. unit BBC Worldwide Ltd. and Scripps Networks Interactive Inc., has appointed Philippa Collie Cousins as drama commissioner, effective in May. Cousins, who will report to scripted content senior commissioning editor Pete Thornton, will supervise Uktv's original drama slate.

* Telegraph Media Group CEO Nick Hugh said the publishing company intends to lower the mean gender pay gap of 35% in the company by 2025. Hugh, who has been CEO since June 2017, has lowered the mean gender pay gap in the company by a fifth after appointing women in senior roles, the report said.

* Meanwhile, Google Inc.s mean average salaries for women in its U.K. operations is 17% lower than its male counterparts, London's The Daily Telegraph reports. The Alphabet Inc. unit also has double the amount of men than women in the U.K.


* European publishing company Axel Springer SE agreed to acquire an 11.5% stake in U.K.-based real estate agency Purplebricks Group PLC for roughly £125 million. Axel Springer conditionally agreed to subscribe for 27,777,777 new Purplebricks ordinary shares at 360 pence apiece. The company also agreed to purchase 6,944,444 ordinary Purplebricks shares from Purplebricks CEO Michael Bruce, nonexecutive director William Whitehorn and Global Sales Director Kenny Bruce.

* Germany's Justice Minister Katarina Barley said the misuse of data by Facebook means the company will be bound by stricter regulations and the threat of tougher penalties for further privacy violations in the future, reports Heise Online.

* Swiss media group Tamedia AG has acquired an 89.48% stake in the Goldbach Group AG in its public takeover bid. The offer has been extended until April 11 in order to reach a minimum 90% of shares, so Goldbach can be delisted.

* Deutsche Telekom AG has begun work in the state of Mecklenburg-West Pomerania on what it calls the largest fiber-to-the-home project in Germany. The first households will be able to use their high-speed internet connection by the end of 2018, while the entire fiber network should be completed by the third quarter of 2019.

* Some 85% of Germany's medium-sized IT companies expect their revenues to continue to increase in the first half, according to German digital association Bitkom. It said 13% of firms expect revenues to remain constant, while only 3% are expecting revenue losses in this period.

* Sky PLC's Sky Deutschland GmbH will dedicate a pop-up channel to French filmmaker Luc Besson. Sky Cinema Luc Besson HD will screen 16 Besson productions 24 hours per day.


* Inc. teamed up with French retailer Casino Guichard-Perrachon SA for grocery delivery in France. The e-commerce giant will offer groceries from Casino's retail chain Monoprix to Amazon's Prime Now members in Paris and surrounding areas.

* The SNJ, CFDT, CGT and FO unions at France Télévisions SA have filed a strike notice for April 4, reports CB News. The unions are calling for the return of a journalist, Jean-Marc Pitte, who was dismissed from France 3 without "valid reasons."

* Orange Business Services, with its subsidiary OCEAN, has launched a smart tracking offering. The Orange SA unit offers solutions that can locate and track goods and equipment.

* Vivendi SA has terminated the consultation agreement with Dominique Delport. Although Delport will remain a board member, his membership in the governance, nominations and remuneration committee of Vivendi supervisory board has been suspended.


* Digital television provider Canal Digitaal has stated it will stop the practice of geoblocking from April 1, following the new EU law that obliges providers to allow subscribers to access content via their online platforms in the whole of the EU, reports TotaalTV. Canal Digitaal, which is part of Luxembourg-based M7 Group SA, will offer the access via its platform Canal Digital Live TV.

* Dutch tech startup Nowi has raised an investment of €1.5 million from Disruptive Technology Ventures, the fund from former KPN NV CEO Ad Scheepbouwer and the founders of cybersecurity company Fox-IT Group BV. Nowi, which was founded two years ago, is developing a power module for internet of things sensors.

* Leonieke Borghuis will leave her position as editor-in-chief of Flair, a women's magazine from Sanoma Corp.'s Sanoma Media Netherlands BV, writes Villamedia. No replacement for Borghuis has been found yet.


* Telia Co. AB said Forum Virium, Helsinki's main smart technology innovation unit, has joined the Telia Finland Oy 5G network. The newly launched network will develop and launch 5G applications in cooperation with strategic partners.

* Denmark's local TV chiefs are wary of proposals to privatize TV2, MediaWatch writes. A proposal to privatize TV2 forms part of a government led cross-party media deal, which may limit program cooperation between TV2 and local broadcaster TV2 Regionerne.

* UBS Group AG, which indirectly holds 11.22% of the total share capital and voting rights in TDC A/S, has divested financial instruments in the Danish company. The action reduced UBS' holding of voting rights, in the form of financial instruments, to less than 5%.

* Ericsson AB has partnered with Vertiv and NorthStar to create the Ericsson Energy Alliance. The EEA's main goal is to use the Ericsson Radio Site System to drive cost-effective and sustainable service provider network expansion toward 5G.


* Greek pay TV operator Nova agreed to renew its output deal with 21st Century Fox Inc.'s 20th Century Fox Television Distribution, Rapid TV News reports, citing a statement. The renewed agreement will see Forthnet SA unit Nova continuing to host movie premieres on its Novacinema channels, as well as the Nova On Demand and Nova Go platforms. 20th Century Fox and Fox Searchlight Pictures are also planning to premiere films in Novacinema channels and on Nova On Demand.

* Activist hedge fund Elliott Management Corp. and Telecom Italia SpA's statutory auditors and independent directors are considering filing a complaint over Vivendi's move to trigger the resignation of the telco's eight directors, Telecompaper reports, citing Il Corriere della Sera. The parties reportedly plan to register their complaint with the Italian government or to national markets regulator Consob.

* Telecom Italia launched mobile banking service TIMpersonal, which was developed by the Banca Sella Group through the HYPE platform. The new service comes in the form of a virtual preparid Mastercard card that TIM's mobile customers can use to make payments and check bank balances, among others.

* U.S. company Cohere Technologies Inc. teamed up with Spanish telecom giant Telefónica SA and research institution 5TONIC Labs to conduct live trials of its new 5G turboConnect solution, which claims to have improved fixed wireless access by up to 300 Mbps.


* NEC Corp. and Russian mobile operator MegaFon announced successful field tests of NEC's artificial intelligence technology in MegaFon's live network to boost the efficiency of transport network systems.

* Messaging app Telegram has lost an appeal at the Moscow city court, and will now have to pay 800,000 Russian rubles over its refusal to hand over encryption keys to the Federal Security Service, Telecompaper reports, citing

* Blogging platform Tumblr has deleted 84 accounts that it claims to have been used by Russian propagandists to spread disinformation during the 2016 U.S. presidential election, BBC News reports, citing a statement. Tumblr added that it would let users decide whether they wanted to remove any comments they have added to the shuttered accounts.

* Croatia's electronic media regulator has approved Central European Media Enterprises Ltd.'s sale of its broadcasting subsidiary NOVA TV to United Group unit Slovania Broadband, Reuters reports, citing a statement. United Group earlier sold its Total TV unit in Croatia.

* The management board of Russian national operator Rostelecom PJSC approved the closure of its subsidiary Magalascacom, which it previously co-owned with AT&T Inc. unit Alascacom until 2016, Telecompaper reports, citing Magalascacom, which focused on providing satellite connectivity between Russia and the U.S., lost its importance after a fiber-optic line to Magadan was installed.

* BBC News launched its digital service in the Serbian language through its website as well as its Twitter and Facebook feeds, the BBC said. BBC News Serbian belongs to the BBC World Service's Europe region.

* Chinese tech company ZTE Corp. agreed to provide a $10 million loan to Ukrainian national operator Ukrtelecom, which the latter will use for joint projects such as the expansion of its fiber network and infrastructure upgrades, Telecompaper reports, citing BizLigaNet.


M&A Replay: Salesforce acquiring software maker; Meredith completes sale of Time Inc. UK: S&P Global Market Intelligence provides a wrap-up of U.S. companies' media and communications deal announcements and completions from March 19 to March 23.


Global Multichannel: Global markets update - Belgium, Romania: Kagan has published updated Global Multichannel & Broadband analysis for two 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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