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Pantaflix, ProSiebenSat.1 unit sign content deal; BT to create 1,000 jobs

TOP NEWS

* German video-on-demand platform Pantaflix AG announced a global content distribution deal with ProSiebenSat.1 Media SE unit Red Arrow Studios International.

* British Telecom announced plans to create more than 1,000 permanent customer service jobs for its consumer division in the U.K. and Ireland. The move is in line with the telco's target to answer all BT customer calls in Britain and Ireland by end-2020.

* Executives at German telecom giant Deutsche Telekom AG said that given the high cost of upgrading mobile network infrastructure to next-generation technology, it would be a mistake for Germany to welcome a fourth mobile competitor.

PAN-EUROPEAN

* Cable giant Liberty Global PLC reported second-quarter customer losses at UPC Switzerland Holding BV and said it sees acquisitions, as well as management changes, as a way back to growth in the Swiss market.

UK AND IRELAND

* Accenture PLC said it acquired hardware engineering firm Mindtribe and agreed to buy smart embedded software company Pillar Technology Group LLC. The acquisitions will expand Accenture's Industry X.0 practice, which the buyer said aids a wide array of companies in the digital transformation of their operations.

GERMANY, SWITZERLAND AND AUSTRIA

* Amazon.com Inc. has agreed a distribution deal with Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland GmbH to include RTL Living as part of its Prime Video Channels.

* ProSiebenSat.1 said it is selling its entire stake in German tour operator Tropo to the Dubai National Air Transport Association. Financial details of the deal were not disclosed.

FRANCE

* French data privacy regulator CNIL is investigating how the EU DisinfoLab carried out a study of messages shared on Twitter. The collection and processing of personal data is subject to the EU General Data Protection Regulation, which protects data relating to the political opinions of individuals.

NETHERLANDS, BELGIUM AND LUXEMBOURG

* Lucerne has increased its stake in Telenet to more than 3%, Telecompaper reports, citing stock market filings. The move comes after the activist investor sought for transparency in governance.

* Belgian media group Mediahuis NV has acquired 100% of the shares of publisher NV Thema Media for an undisclosed amount, VRT reports.

* Operator SKV, which mainly operates in the Dutch city of Veendam, is the second provider in the Netherlands to offer all channels from Ziggo NV's Ziggo Sport Totaal in HD quality, TotaalTV reports. Other providers, including KPN NV, are in talks to upgrade Ziggo Sport Totaal to HD quality.

* Vodafone Group PLC unit Vodafone Nederland has experienced a malfunction lasting several hours, making it impossible for customers to make or receive telephone calls, newspaper Het Parool reports.

NORDIC COUNTRIES

* Fitch Ratings upgraded the long-term issuer default ratings and senior unsecured rating of Nokia Corp. to BBB- from BB+, while maintaining its stable outlook. The rating agency cited the telecommunications company's successful implementation of its cost savings program, sufficiently strong operating margins in the current industry cycle phase and the integration of Alcatel-Lucent.

* Digita Oy has launched a new internet TV service, SoMeTV, via its antenna TV network.

* Link Mobility Group ASA has extended the acceptance period for Victory Partners' takeover offer to Aug. 15. The acceptance period was originally set Aug. 9. Victory presented a voluntary cash bid to buy all shares in Link in July.

* Eltel AB said it saw its net sales drop by 10.4% to €295.5 million in the first half of 2018. The technical services provider for digital and critical infrastructure networks attributed the decline to divestments and the discontinuation of its non-core business operations.

SOUTHERN EUROPE

* Mediapro is in discussions with Telefónica SA to acquire broadcast rights to the UEFA Champions League games on its BeIN Connect platform, Digital TV Europe reports, citing local reports.

* NTT Docomo Inc. is considering offloading its Italian mobile content company Buongiorno, London's Financial Times reports, citing people with direct knowledge of the matter. The Japanese mobile operator reportedly approached banks and advisers with an intent to sell the Italian unit, six years after it acquired the business for $267 million in 2012.

* Pietro Labriola is stepping down as COO of TIM Participações SA due to a management shakeup in the Telecom Italia SpA unit, Reuters reports, citing two sources. Telecom Italia CEO Amos Genish is said to be appointing long-time allies in the Brazilian company.

* Italian telecom regulator Agcom fined Wind Tre SpA, Telecom Italia and Vodafone Italia a total of €3.2 million over their aggressive payment demands to their clients, Telecompaper reports. The operators have also reportedly threatened to put individuals on a database of untrustworthy customers.

EASTERN EUROPE

* Ukrainian broadcaster 1+1 Media Group has added local channels Public TV, ZIK, Channel 8 and Channel 24 to its video-on-demand platform 1+1 Video, Broadband TV News reports. 1+1 Media is also seeking the addition of more 24/7 channels on the platform by the end of 2018.

* Hungary's National Media and Infocommunications Authority has slapped a fine of 72.8 million Hungarian forints on Magyar Telekom for failing to comply with certain legal requirements, Telecompaper reports.

FEATURED RESEARCH

Economics of Internet: Profile: iflix (Vietnam): Establishing itself in emerging markets, the over-the-top service is tailoring its strategies to consumer preferences, not only in terms of local content, but also in payment platforms and adapting to available infrastructure.

Economics of Internet: Hulu, Netflix content viewing grows in Q2, placing them atop the field: Hulu and Netflix, two of the three largest subscription over-the-top video services in the U.S., measured significantly higher content viewing totals than their peers in the second quarter, according to comScore Video Metrix data.

Anne Freier, Amanda Kelly, Charlotte van Hek and Gerard O'Dwyer contributed to this report.

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