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ITV to launch SVOD service; Telia closes takeover of Get, TDC Norway


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ITV to launch SVOD service; Telia closes takeover of Get, TDC Norway


* British broadcaster ITV PLC is launching a subscription video-on-demand service in 2019, Advanced Television reports. ITV CEO Carolyn McCall said it will seek partners on creating the platform, which would be separate from the existing advertising-supported VOD service ITV Hub.

* Telia Co. AB has finalized the takeover of operators Get AS and TDC Norway AS for 21 billion Norwegian kroner. The deal is expected to strengthen Telia's position in mobile, TV and broadband market areas in Norway.


* Walt Disney Co. has proposed antitrust concessions to the European Commission as part of its efforts to win approval for its $71.3 billion deal to buy 21st Century Fox Inc.'s entertainment assets, Variety reports. The European regulator has extended its deadline for reviewing the merger to Nov. 11 from Oct. 19. Details about the concessions offered were not disclosed.


* Facebook Inc. will crack down on misinformation online by requiring British political ads on its pages to include disclaimers and identity indicators, Reuters reports.

* The British Broadcasting Corp.'s BBC One (UK) channel struck a deal with streaming provider Netflix Inc. to co-produce miniseries "Dracula." Hartswood Films will be in charge of production.

* BBC Studios agreed on a multiyear partnership with China's Tencent Holdings Ltd. to develop the BBC Earth Tribe, a Chinese online community for natural history and science. As part of the deal, BBC Studios and Tencent will co-produce natural history series "Dynasties."

* The chief executives of Britain's public broadcasters wrote a letter urging the British government and media watchdog Ofcom to ensure the prominence of their content and program players, in response to competition from other content providers such as Netflix and Sky PLC. The letter was signed by BBC Director General Tony Hall, ITV CEO Carolyn McCall, Channel 4 (UK) CEO Alex Mahon, STV Group PLC CEO Simon Pitts, S4C CEO Owen Evans and James Currell, president of Viacom Inc.'s British unit that owns Channel 5 (UK).

* Blackstone Group LP, through its managed funds, purchased U.K.-based live events venue operator National Exhibition Centre Group from LDC, the private equity arm of Lloyds Banking Group PLC, for an undisclosed sum.


* German digital publisher Axel Springer SE and British online estate agent Purplebricks Group PLC have formed a joint investment company that will acquire about 22% of German real estate company Homeday GmbH. The acquisition will be done through the purchase of existing shares as part of a capital increase.

* Red Arrow International President Henrik Pabst has been appointed to a newly created senior executive position within ProSiebenSat.1 Media SE's entertainment segment, effective Jan. 1, 2019. His responsibilities will include local content commissioning and content acquisitions. Bo Stehmeier will replace Pabst's position at Red Arrow Studios International.


* Jérôme Barrier has been appointed director of the small, medium and corporate division of Microsoft Corp. unit Microsoft France. Barrier will lead the team that supports French VSEs, SMEs and ETIs in accelerating their digital transformation.

* Orange SA unit Orange Business Services unveiled details of its IoT Connect Anywhere platform, which seeks to accelerate the internet of things with its business clients using LoRa, a low-cost, power-efficient network technology. IoT Connect Anywhere provides on-premise connectivity suitable for a range of applications.

* Gameloft is launching a new video game dubbed "Shark Dash" on Freebox Revolution, offered by Iliad SA's Free, Univers Freebox reports. Adapted from the iPhone version, the puzzle game is available in 'freemium' mode via the FreeStore.


* Deutsche Telekom AG CEO Tim Hoettges said he remains "optimistic" that the European Commission will give antitrust approval to T-Mobile Netherlands BV's proposed acquisition of Tele2 AB unit Tele2 Netherlands, Reuters reports. The deal is "good for the mobile market, good for customers and it is good for the 5G build-out," Hoettges was quoted as saying in the report. The Deutsche Telekom CEO's statement follows competition concerns raised by the commission in September.

* Qualcomm Inc.'s failed attempt to acquire Netherlands-based NXP Semiconductors NV is, for a large part, due to the attitude of U.S. President Donald Trump on American-Chinese trade relations, NXP Director Guido Dierick has said, BNR reports. Qualcomm halted its takeover attempt of chipmaker NXP last summer after the Chinese regulator had not given regulatory approval.

* Plans by film distributor Dutch Filmsworks to identify and fine illegal downloaders are on hold, Datanews reports. In 2017, the company announced that it would collect IP addresses from everyone illegally downloading, with the imposition of a €150 fine.

* Belgian company Oncomfort, which develops hypnosis applications based on virtual reality, has raised a €1.7 million investment from a group of private investors, De Tijd reports. The company recently appointed Mario Huyghe as CEO.


* Inspectors detected flaws in building standards at Amazon Web Services Inc.'s data center in Västerås, Sweden, in January, Di Digital reports. The Inc. unit is building three new data centers in Västerås, Eskilstuna and Katrineholm.

* Telia has repurchased 4.7 million of its own shares, as part of its 5 billion Swedish kronor share repurchase program that runs until March 2019.

* Nokia Corp. and Saudi Telecom Co. unit STC Business have agreed to cooperate on the launch of an air-to-ground pilot network in Saudi Arabia, touted as the first in the Middle East.


* Mediaset SpA is ready to sell the technology platform of its pay TV unit Mediaset Premium SpA to Sky Italia SRL as early as November, Telecompaper reports, citing Il Sole 24 Ore. The transaction will remain subject to the approval of Italian regulator Agcom.

* Sky Italia has introduced DAZN and Spotify apps on the Sky Q platform, Telecompaper reports.

* Nowo has signed a deal with SPI International Inc. to add four channels from SPI/Filmbox, Digital TV Europe reports. The channels to be added to the Portuguese operator's lineup are DocuBox HD, FilmBox Art House, Fast&FunBox HD and FashionBox HD.

* Small-scale DTT channels want Cellnex Telecom SA to provide them compensation over the Spanish operator's alleged "abusive profit," Advanced Television reports. The channels, which include DKiss, Trece TV, Real Madrid TV and Unidad Editorial, submitted the said proposal to Spanish competition regulator Comisión Nacional de los Mercados y la Competencia.


* Russian broadcaster CTC Media Inc. agreed to transfer the rights of four of its shows to Amazon Prime Video, Broadband TV News reports. U.S. company Ammo Content LLC has served as an intermediary to transfer the rights of CTC Media shows "Molodeszhka," "Psichologini," "Londongrad" and "Paik."

* Polish operator Netia SA introduced a new version of its Netia VoD platform, Telecompaper reports. The new app can be accessed on the Netia Player 1.5 and 2.0 devices.


EU telecom CEOs sound alarms over industry regulation, 5G future: Telecom operators in Europe are calling for an "innovation and investment-friendly approach" to regulation. Such a stance, they said, would help support the commercialization of their annual investment in networks.

M&A Replay: European deals: Comcast takes control of Sky; Apple to buy part of Dialog: U.S. cable giant Comcast has become the majority owner of British pay TV operator Sky. Apple agreed to acquire part of chipmaker Dialog Semiconductor's business, including several facilities, engineers and employees.


Wireless Investor: Finland mobile projections, 2018-2028: Elisa claims Europe's first 5G network launch in partnership with Huawei, as Telia performs 5G trials.

Technology: Streaming media device ships slow as OTT streaming shifts to smart TVs: The market for streaming media devices is becoming increasingly murky as smart televisions continue to become more ubiquitous and consumers have fewer older televisions in need of an upgrade with a streaming media device.

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

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