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UK cracks down on extremist content, child porn; Orange nears online bank launch


According to Market Intelligence, December 2022


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UK cracks down on extremist content, child porn; Orange nears online bank launch


* The U.K. government has made its counterterrorism laws more stringent to include imprisonment of up to 15 years for people who repeatedly view terrorist content online. It is also investing £600,000 in "Project Arachnid," a technology to identify and take down indecent images of children online. The moves come as British senior officials criticised Facebook Inc.-owned WhatsApp Inc.'s end-to-end encryption communication services, which are allegedly exploited by pedophiles and organized crime, Reuters reports.

* An Orange SA spokesperson confirmed that the company's online banking service will launch Nov. 2, Reuters reports. The launch of Orange Bank was originally scheduled for July 6 but was postponed to broaden the test phase.

* As internet giants are increasingly interested in sports rights, industry observers have said that tech's path to dethrone broadcasters is unlikely to be smooth sailing. For a start, by most sports leagues' standards, digital platforms only offer a fraction of what they make on TV rights.


* Irish High Court Judge Caroline Costello will ask the European Court of Justice to make a preliminary ruling about banning the way internet companies transfer European Union customers' data to the U.S., Reuters reports. Tech companies like Facebook, Alphabet Inc. unit Google Inc.'s Apple Inc. have come under the spotlight over data privacy concerns. The present case also looks into the privacy issues resulting from tech companies transferring EU citizens' data to the U.S., which could then be accessible to U.S. surveillance agencies.

* U.K.-listed WPP Plc will seek to block Bain Capital LP's takeover bid for Japanese advertising firm Asatsu-DK Inc., the Financial Times of London reports, citing people close to WPP. The latter is preparing to refuse selling its 24.96% stake in Asatsu-DK, arguing that Bain's US$1.3 billion tender offer "severely undervalues" Japan's third-biggest agency.

* Uber Technologies Inc. vowed to fix its operations in London after its new CEO Dara Khosrowshahi held a "constructive" meeting with regulator Transport for London, Reuters reports. The meeting, which focused on London's taxi and private hire market, comes as Uber seeks to hold on to its operating license that TfL has decided not to renew.


* Swiss auditing company KPMG Schweiz acquired mobile solutions and products provider Terria Mobile. The acquisition expands KPMG's portfolio in the area of digital transformation and mobile experience.

* German production company Bavaria Fernsehproduktion GmbH is reestablishing its brand as Bavaria Fiction, 10 years after the subsidiary of Bavaria Film GmbH and ZDF Enterprises was founded, DWDL reports. Bavaria Fiction focuses on producing fiction-themed content for both German-speaking and international customers.

* Peter Lenz has been named the new managing director of telecom company T-Systems Austria GesmbH, replacing Franz Grohs. Lenz has been T-Systems' vice president of delivery since the beginning of 2017.


* Inc.'s next big deal may involve a grocery chain or food distributor in France, according to press reports. Citing Le Monde, Reuters reports that the e-commerce giant has contacted several French companies, including Casino Guichard-Perrachon SA. Le Monde reported that Casino turned the Seattle-based company down after it expressed interest in a deal involving stores under the French chain's Monoprix banner.

* TV rights for the Ligue 1 championship could climb to €1.2 billion from the current €750 million per year, Bloomberg News reports, citing sources familiar with the matter. originally set for 2018, the French soccer league might bring forward the auction as soon as November, pitching competitors including Altice NV against incumbents Canal Plus SA and beIN SPORTS.

* Webedia SA plans to launch a TV channel dedicated to electronic sports, Univers Freebox reports. The new channel will be called ES1 and will be offered via cable and satellite operators.

* National film center Centre National du Cinéma launched a young digital creation fund of up to €2 million per year toward online video content generation on free distribution platforms such as YouTube, Dailymotion, or Facebook, La Tribune reports. The center aims to act as an incubator awarding individual grants of up to €50,000.


* The EU is expected to order Luxembourg to collect "several hundred of million" of euros in back taxes from Amazon, the Financial Times of London reports, citing sources familiar with the matter. It is not clear exactly how much Amazon will be ordered to pay Luxembourg in taxes.

* KPN NV agreed to acquire QSight IT Holding, a managed security services and public cloud consultancy provider in the Netherlands, for an undisclosed amount. The acquisition is in line with KPN's aim to grow its security and public cloud consultancy business.

* Amsterdam-based cloud communications platform MessageBird has collected a $60 million investment, with companies Atomico and Accel entering as new shareholders, Emerce reports. MessageBird, which counts Uber and Heineken among its clients, will use the investment to expand internationally and improve its market position.


* Telia Co. AB said that its subsidiary Sonera Holding BV agreed to sell 38.5 million shares in Russian operator MegaFon for 585 Russian rubles per share, raising gross proceeds of 22.5 billion rubles or about 3.2 billion Swedish kronor. Following the sale, Telia will retain ownership of about 19% of MegaFon's issued share capital.

* Scandinavian TV streaming service HBO Nordic joined forces with Turner Broadcasting System Inc. to launch Toonix, a streaming service for children, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Toonix will offer series and movies, including content from Turner's Cartoon Network, Warner Bros. Animation Inc. and others. Both HBO Nordic and Turner are part of Time Warner Inc.

* Swedish-founded online performance marketing company Catena Media said that its CEO Robert Andersson is stepping down with immediate effect. Henrik Persson Ekdahl, a member of the company's board, has been appointed acting CEO.

* Nokia Corp. said it has trialed narrowband internet of things technology with Zain Saudi Arabia. The trial, done at a live site in Saudi Arabia's Makkah province, used NB-IoT to communicate temperature, humidity and air pressure from a remote location.


* Italian state lender Cassa Depositi e Prestiti, which owns a 50% stake in Enel Open Fiber SpA, may explore whether an investment in Telecom Italia SpA would be advantageous, if Rome calls on the lender to do so under its golden power, Reuters reports. However, CDP Chairman Claudio Costamagna said the lender's investment in open fiber would remain its priority.

* Xiaomi Inc. will open its first store in Spain in November, Telecompaper reports, citing El Español. According to sources, the physical store will be in Madrid.

* TV channels in Italy will be required to broadcast more Italian content during prime time hours under a new ruling that will take effect 2020, Advanced Television reports. The ruling would also compel companies to make more investments in producing local content.


* Mobile TeleSystems PJSC acquired a 30% stake in Sistema Capital for 356 million Russian rubles, Telecompaper reports. The Russian operator's move is in line with its goal of diversifying its financial services and to manage its own assets more efficiently.

* Yandex LLC eyes a new paid online video service by the end or shortly after the end of 2017, Telecompaper reports, citing Vedomosti. According to sources, the Russian search engine company is currently in talks with content providers for potential carriage rights deals.

* T-Mobile Polska appointed Juraj Andras to replace Szabolcs Gaborjani as the Deutsche Telekom AG unit's new CFO, Telecompaper reports. Andras will take over the post on Dec. 1, with Gaborjani working with him until the end of January 2018, to ensure a smooth transition.


Telefónica eyes beta launch of 4K service; Wind Hellas plans TV platform: In this monthly feature, S&P Global Market Intelligence provides a roundup of news related to over-the-top, video-on-demand and other video initiatives in Spain, Italy, Portugal, Greece and Turkey.


Global Multichannel: LatAm CEO Survey: FTTH, OTT, TVE services a priority in operators' offerings: As online video consumption rises, operators are prioritizing FTTH to enable high-quality OTT and TVE services. Most of the respondents offered VOD services, and OTT and TVE tied for second most revenue growth potential right behind FTTH.

Anne Freier, Sylvia Edwards Davis, 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.