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US evidence on Huawei; BBC's staffing plans; Facebook's Italy fine


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US evidence on Huawei; BBC's staffing plans; Facebook's Italy fine


* Senior U.S. officials, led by Deputy National Security Adviser Matt Pottinger, presented the U.K. government with documents that allegedly show new evidence of risks associated with the use of Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. in 5G networks, London's The Guardian reports. The move came as British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to push for a deal with the telecom equipment company, the Financial Times reports.

* The British Broadcasting Corp. plans to relocate two-thirds of jobs outside London by 2027, BBC's Director General Tony Hall wrote in the Financial Times. Hall also cited the broadcaster's investments in original British content, despite facing "funding pressures" and "questions about our funding model."

* The Regional Administrative Court of Lazio halved a fine imposed by antitrust watchdog Agcom against Facebook Inc. for breaches of Italy's consumer code, Telecompaper reports, citing Corriere delle Comunicazioni. Facebook will pay about €5 million after the court dismissed fines relating to means used by the social networking company in transferring personal data to third parties.


* Commercial broadcaster ITV PLC is in talks with British Telecom's BT Sport to acquire a package of UEFA Champions League matches, Advanced Television reports, citing The Sunday Times. The deal would reportedly cover selected live games as well as free-to-air rights to the finals match.

* Dentsu Aegis Network Ltd., a U.K. subsidiary of Dentsu Group Inc., promoted Tony Chen to CEO of its media business in China, Campaign Asia reports. Chen will guide the company's Carat, dentsu X, Vizeum iProspect, Posterscope and Amplifi brands.

* BBC Studios Ltd. appointed Nicki Sheard chief marketing officer, starting March. Sheard will set the BBC unit's global marketing strategy and its brands, as well as provide marketing leadership across BBC Studios.

* Vodafone Group PLC expanded its 5G roaming coverage to five locations in Ireland. The British telco also launched a 5G-based network technology that allows operators to share mobile base stations.

* Fiber cable and ducted network products manufacturer Emtelle UK Ltd. opened a new Fibre Termination Facility at its Centre of Excellence in Scotland. The facility will cut and polish the fiber to prepare it for direct connection to customers' homes.

* BBC Three acquired U.K. rights to the second series of hit comedy "Shrill," which will be available on the BBC iPlayer from Jan. 25. The online-only channel secured the rights from Warner Bros. Television Group, a unit of AT&T Inc.'s Warner Media LLC.


* Accenture PLC named Marco Huwiler country managing director for Switzerland. Huwiler will succeed Thomas Meyer who is retiring in May.

* Amazon Web Services Inc. agreed to become the official technology provider for German soccer league Bundesliga. The Inc. unit will provide in-depth insights to accompany live broadcasts and improve the viewing experience.

* ViacomCBS Inc. unit ViacomCBS Networks GSA expanded its partnership with German cable operator group DNMG, Broadband TV News reports. Under the new agreement, DNMG will allow its over 200 cable and platform member-operators to distribute channels including MTV, Comedy Central and Nick via cable and IPTV.

* Children's media company Azoomee acquired Berlin-based Da Vinci Media GmbH for an undisclosed sum, Broadband TV News reports. The combined entity will operate the Azoomee and Da Vinci Kids brands that are accessible through connected TVs, linear channels and mobile apps.

* German media company Axel Springer SE moved its distribution subsidiary Sales Impact GmbH & Co. KG from Hamburg to Berlin, resulting in about 20 employees affected, Meedia reports.

* About 50 freelance journalists working for German news channel Deutsche Welle criticized plans to restructure the company, Deutschlandfunk reports. Night shifts for the Deutsche Welle website will be substantially shortened from February, a move that could jeopardize the future of the German online news section.


* Altice Europe unit Altice Médias France named Arthur Dreyfuss managing director, Les Échos reports. Meanwhile, Gregory Rabuel will lead SFR Télécom as managing director to support the launch of 5G.

* French public broadcaster France Télévisions SA will transition its overseas satellite channels to high-definition quality, except in New Caledonia and in Wallis and Futuna, CB News reports. The transition will be done gradually over the night of Jan. 14.

* Christophe Ruet will become managing director of content publisher Unique Heritage Media in early February. Ruet was formerly executive director of customer marketing and broadcasting at Reworld Media SA.


* Network operator Alliander NV acquired Enschede-based TReNT, which manages more than 2,000 kilometers of fiber-optic infrastructure in eastern Netherlands, Emerce reports. The deal will allow Alliander to expand its telecom infrastructure network.

* Dutch regional broadcaster Omroep Zeeland switched from radio to OmniPlayer radio automation software for its entire production and broadcast process, Broadcast Magazine reports.


* Storytel AB upgraded its expectations for 2020. The Swedish audio book and e-book company sees a 36% subscriber growth, as well as an increase in streaming revenue of between 1.9 billion and 2 billion Swedish kronor. The company expects to launch its streaming service in up to three new markets this year.

* Tele2 Sverige AB is launching gigabit broadband services to business customers on the MittNät network in nine municipalities within Sweden's Värmland and Dalarna counties.

* Telia Co. AB acting CEO Christian Luiga criticized the delays to the 5G auctions in Sweden. In a Dagens Industri article, Luiga said the unilateral focus on security measures has delayed 5G expansion in Sweden, damaging the country's competitiveness.

* Stockholm-listed gambling company Kindred Group PLC, formerly Unibet, issued a profit warning. The company's gross winnings revenues have been impacted by weak betting margins and now sees gross winnings revenue of £235 million in the fourth quarter of 2019, down from £250.1 million for the same period in 2018.


* Vivendi SA filed a request for injunction on the merger of Mediaset SpA and Mediaset España Comunicación SA into Mediaset Investment NV. The hearing will be held Feb. 10 at the District Court of Amsterdam.

* The Greek government is still waiting for the European Commission's recommendation on whether it will or will not allow Huawei in its 5G network rollout, Telecompaper reports, citing Digital Governance Minister Kyriakos Pierakakis' statement to Skai TV.

* Telefónica SA tapped Morgan Stanley to conduct an analysis of its Latin American operations, Telecompaper reports, citing a Bloomberg News story mentioned by Expansión. The move is part of the Spain-headquartered operator's plan to sell its Latin American units.

* Italy's Ministry of Economic Development will allocate about €5 million in grants for 5G projects involving Telecom Italia SpA, Linkem SpA, Tiscali SpA, Wind Tre SpA, Vodafone Italia SpA, and other universities and organizations in the country, Telecompaper reports. The ministry will fund up to 80% of the project's cost, up to a maximum of €1 million.

* Wind Tre launched its commercial fiber-to-the-home services in the Sicilian cities of Agrigento, Gela and Vittoria using Enel Open Fiber SpA's network, Telecompaper reports. The FTTH launch comes after Wind Tre and the Enel SpA unit struck a network agreement.


* Russian national operator Rostelecom PJSC closed the deal to fully acquire data center provider DataLine for an undisclosed sum. Rostelecom's board approved the acquisition in November.

* Mobile TeleSystems PJSC denied that it plans to merge its ticketing services and Ticketland, Telecompaper reports, citing sources mentioned by Prime. A newly formed unit, named MTS Entertainment, will manage the company's entertainment projects.

* Russia estimated that it could spend 24.7 billion Russian rubles for the development of quantum communications, as well as the launch of quantum networks for about 1,000 users until 2024, Telecompaper reports, citing Kommersant, which acquired access to Russian Railways' draft roadmap.


M&A Replay: Insight Partners buying data company; Accenture to acquire Symantec business: Private equity firm Insight Partners will acquire cloud data management company Veeam Software Group GmbH, while IT consultancy Accenture agreed to purchase Symantec's cybersecurity services business from Broadcom Inc.


Technology: Streaming media devices state their case at CES: TiVo Corp. and Nvidia Corp. hope that as average consumers become savvier about streaming, they may start to look for the sorts of perks built into their new dedicated streaming hardware.

Technology: Gaming hardware embraces esports at CES: A focus on faster refresh rates over higher pixel counts from chipmakers and display manufacturers may be setting the stage for next-gen game console announcements later in 2020.

Anne Freier, Amanda Kelly, Marieke Pijnappels and Esben Svendsen contributed to this report.

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