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Vivendi denies Telecom Italia sale; Germany clears Tolino sale

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Vivendi denies Telecom Italia sale; Germany clears Tolino sale

TOP NEWS

* Vivendi SA dismissed reports that it will sell its 24% stake in Telecom Italia SpA, Advanced Televison reports. A Bloomberg News report, citing unnamed sources, said the French company plans the sale to make way for a possible deal with Mediaset SpA.

* Deutsche Telekom AG has been given the go-ahead by the Bundeskartellamt to sell its kindle rival Tolino, reports Handelsblatt. Tolino is being bought by Japanese company Rakuten Inc. in a deal that should not trigger any competition issues.

UK AND IRELAND

* British Telecom and Sky plc are set to clash again in March over broadcast rights to the UEFA Champions League and Europa League, wherein the first round of bids are expected to be submitted, London's The Daily Telegraph reports. Sky could reportedly use Fox's backing to snatch the rights from current rights holder BT, and strike a pan-European or even global deal.

* British Telecom's broadband customers will now have to pay a monthly fee of £3.50 as part of its price increase that will begin on April, Broadband TV News reports. The operator's Infinity broadband will also increase by £2.50 a month.

* 21st Century Fox Inc.'s FOX News Channel hired Nigel Farage, former leader of the pro-Brexit U.K. Independence Party, as a contributor, according to a news release. Farage will offer political analysis across daytime and prime-time programming at FOX News and FOX Business Network channels.

* Julia Bond has been appointed the British Broadcasting Corp.'s first children's commissioning executive for Scotland and Northern Ireland, reporting to CBeebies (UK) controller Kay Benbow, Broadcast reports. Among Bond's new responsibilities include developing relationships with indies in Scotland and Northern Ireland, collaborate with BBC Scotland's in-house producers and act as a liaison between BBC Alba and BBC Children's.

GERMANY, SWITZERLAND AND AUSTRIA

* CNN (US) has announced plans to launch its own CNNMoney programming in Switzerland, according to a press release. The company plans to launch the predominantly English-narrated channel, featuring business news, in the second half.

* German media company ProSiebenSat.1 Media SE plans to build its own campus in Unterföhring, according to German news site Merkur. Around 5,000 staff are to move to the newly built offices.

* Sonja Piller joins German shopping channel HSE24 as head of business management, according to DWDL. She succeeds Richard Reitzner, who will become acting chairman.

FRANCE

* Orange SA said very high-speed fiber network Megalis Bretagne is in operation. THD Bretagne, the subsidiary of Orange created for this purpose, is taking over the network built by Megalis in a public-private partnership that deploys fiber on behalf of Brittany's towns and makes it available to all internet service providers.

* Bouygues Telecom is launching on Jan. 23 a new set-top box that allows users in France to connect to very high-speed 4G internet in their homes, Les Echos reports. The unit allows users to connect up to 32 devices with unlimited data usage at €29.99 per month, plus €3 per month for the device rental.

* Mobile operators in France will be required to publish more detailed maps of the realistic level of service users can access in their locations, Next Inpact reports. A decree signed by the secretary of state for digital on Jan. 20 introduced the requirement that had been proposed by telecom watchdog ARCEP.

* SFR's cinema and series channel SFR Studio will launch July 1, Libération reports. Alain Weill, CEO of SFR Media, said the new network will rely mainly on the catalog of Comcast Corp. unit NBCUniversal Media LLC through the agreement that SFR's parent company Altice NV signed in July 2016.

* Mounir Mahjoubi has stepped down as president of the Conseil National du Numérique, France's digital advisory body. Mahjour announced via a blog post on Medium that he is joining presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron's campaign.

NETHERLANDS, BELGIUM AND LUXEMBOURG

* Intelsat (Luxembourg) SA disclosed the final results of the private exchange offer for Intelsat (Luxembourg) SA's 6.75% senior notes due 2018, which will be exchanged for the latter's newly issued 12.5% unregistered senior notes due 2024. Intelsat (Luxembourg) has accepted about $403.3 million of the outstanding notes due 2018 under the exchange offer.

* Mediahuis has received permission by the Dutch Authority for Consumer and Market to acquire Concentra Media Nederland, De Redactie reports. In case of a takeover of Concentra, owner of Dutch newspapers De Limburger and Limburgs Dagblad, ACM concludes that enough competition would remain in the market.

* Tata Communications Ltd acquired a 35% share in Dutch mobile technology developer Teleena, Financieel Dagblad reports. Tata reportedly offered between €10 million and €20 million for the stake, which will be fully invested in Teleena's development.

* The National Cyber Security Center in the Netherlands has confirmed that several technology-focused companies will aid political parties in internet security around the March 15 parliamentary elections, NOS reports. Among the companies that have offered support are KPN NV, Deloitte and Stichting Digitale Infrastructuur.

* Dutch journalist union NVJ threatens with protest actions if Telegraaf Media Group does not stop the reorganization of Hollandse Media Combinatie, Villamedia reports. TMG reportedly plans to cut 45 of 185 jobs at HMC, which has newspapers such as Noordhollands Dagblad, Haarlems Dagblad and Leidsch Dagblad.

NORDIC COUNTRIES

* Music streaming service Tidal, which is owned by rapper Jay-Z, might have exaggerated its user numbers, Dagens Næringsliv reports, citing Tidal sources. In March 2016, Tidal reported that it had 3 million users, but according to the report it only had 850,000 subscribers and 1.2 million active accounts.

* Ericsson AB has appointed Jose Antonio Lopez Munoz as CEO of its Spanish subsidiary, Telecompaper reports. He is taking over after Ingemar Naeve, who stepped down after five years as CEO. Lopez has been with Ericsson for 10 years.

SOUTHERN EUROPE

* Spain's Republica Movil launched an app for Apple Inc. devices that will provide subscribers access to data and voice consumption as well as their recent bills, Telecompaper reports.

* Enel SpA's broadband unit Enel Open Fiber will build a wholesale fiber-optic network in Palermo, Italy, following a deal with the city council, Telecompaper reports. Enel Open Fiber will invest about €90 million in the project, which aims to provide internet speeds of up to 1 Gbps to about 224,000 households in Palermo.

EASTERN EUROPE

* Sony Corp.'s PlayStation VR will launch in Romania on Jan. 24 at selected local retailers for about 1,800 Romanian lei, Telecompaper reports.

* In an evaluation by the Russian Ministry of Communications and Mass Media, upon the adoption of the anti-terrorist law, Russian operators would have to spend about 5 trillion Russian rubles for storing customers' traffic information, Telecompaper reports.

* Ukrainian soccer club FC Shakhtar Donetsk tapped online video services provider StreamAMG to provide support for its new online video platform named FCSD.tv Live. The service will offer live and on-demand access to the team's matches, plus extra content such as interviews and press conferences.

FEATURED NEWS

MarketWeek: Netflix scores big on sub gains; T-Mobile swings up amid M&A talk: Shares of T-Mobile saw a boost as M&A speculation swirled, while Netflix saw gains on positive earnings during the week.

FEATURED RESEARCH

Economics of Advertising: Nielsen partners with AT&T/DIRECTV on set-top box data: In a major victory for Nielsen, the company signed a deal with AT&T to license set-top box data from DIRECTV and U-verse subscribers.

Sylvia Edwards Davis, Anne Freier, Koen Pijnappels 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.