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Italy scandal hits BT; Vodafone wins case against Deutsche Telekom


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Italy scandal hits BT; Vodafone wins case against Deutsche Telekom


* British Telecom's shares plunged by nearly 21% as of 2:25 p.m. ET Jan. 24, wiping £7.8 billion off its value, after the company disclosed accounting errors at its Italian business, Reuters reports. An investigation into accounting practices at BT Italy started in October 2016, and has reportedly led to a write down of £530 million, a sum far higher than the £145 million initially announced last year.

* In related news, the British communications giant said it had suspended a number of BT Italy's senior management team members who have reportedly left the business, with a new CEO of BT Italy to take charge Feb. 1. Corrado Sciolla is also set to resign as the head of BT's continental European operation, according to Advanced Television.

* Vodafone Group Plc won a court case in Germany against Deutsche Telekom AG over charges that the latter abused its dominant position by overcharging rental fees for its cable ducts, Reuters reports.


* Inc. has offered to drop certain parity clauses in its e-book contracts with publishers in a bid to settle an investigation by the European Commission, the EC announced. The online retailer has offered not to enforce any clause that requires publishers to offer Amazon similar terms and conditions as those offered to its rivals or any clause requiring publishers to inform the company about such terms and conditions.

* The European Union is looking into Oracle Corp.'s complaint against Google Inc.'s changes in policy "seriously," The Wall Street Journal reports, citing an EU official. The Alphabet Inc. unit's policy change in June has allegedly altered the way it handles users' web browsing and email data.


* The British Broadcasting Corp. added three new roles to its specialist factual commissioning team, focusing on science, religion and ethics, and history, Broadcast reports. Carig Hunter was appointed to the science role, as well as for factual Scotland, while assistant commissioner Fatima Salaria will take on the religion and ethics post. The history commissioning editor role will reportedly be advertised shortly, as well as two multidiscipline commissioners for the department.

* Former BBC producer Llinos Wynne will join Welsh public broadcaster S4C as its content commissioner for factual programming, TBI Vision reports. Wynne replaces Llion Iwan, who was promoted as head of content distribution.

* Guardian Media Group is considering a shift to tabloid format for its broadsheet The Guardian of London, after ruling out a full transition to a digital-only operation, London's Financial Times reports, citing an insider source. As part of cost cutting, the company is also reportedly in talks with News Corp. unit News U.K. for outsourcing printing operations.

* British media watchdog Ofcom granted the BBC and ITV Plc exclusive live broadcast rights to the 2017 Six Nations rugby union tournament, following consultations with stakeholders. Additionally, S4C will have nonexclusive live coverage of all Wales' matches in the Welsh language.

* Mark Harrison is stepping down as the BBC's director of transformation for design and engineering, effective March 31, according to a news release. Harrison intends to focus on his role as the managing director of U.K. organization Digital Production Partnership.

* TV Azteca is eyeing agreements with British production houses as part of its new content strategy, Rapid TV News reports. The Mexican broadcaster met with representatives from BBC Worldwide Ltd., RTL Group's FremantleMedia Ltd. and other companies to discuss possible content deals for its linear channels.


* SAP SE, the German multinational software corporation expects profits to grow to reach €29 billion by 2020, reports Handelsblatt. The company said that demand for its cloud production services was strong and has adjusted profit outlooks accordingly.

* TUV Nord, Germany's tech services provider, has awarded certification for security of IT management systems (ISO 27001) as well as security of public data (ISO 27018) to Microsoft Corp. Germany for its Azure cloud services, according to computing news site Cloudcomputing Insider.

* German broadcaster Norddeutscher Rundfunk (NDR) and programme "Tagesschau" have developed a news bot for Funk the collaborative youth programming by German public broadcasters ARD and ZDF. German media magazine DWDL reports that the news bot will be transmitting news chat-style.

* Tim Affeld, current editor in chief at Bauer's Intouch and Closer magazines, will be managing the weekly people magazine's In and OK from June 1, reports German news site Horizont.


* Orange SA's Orange Cyberdefense announced a strategic partnership with Atos, through its technology brand Bull, covering the secure mobile terminal communications market in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Orange Cyberdefense will be Atos privileged partner to sell the secure smartphone Hoox and will be the provider of related secure communication services and solutions.

* Libération has partnered with The New York Times to follow the first year of Donald Trump's presidency, CB News reports. The French daily newspaper publishes four-page English supplement The New York Times International Weekly every Tuesday, including a selection of articles and editorials produced jointly by the two editorial teams.

* Altice NV unit SFR launched a special offer on the ShowroomPrivé.com private sales website for its Home by SFR unit, Univers Freebox reports. The video alarm pack subscription is compatible with all set-top boxes and is offered until Jan, 31 at €1.99 per month for 12 months then €9.99 per month, with the unit offered at €29 euros instead of €149.

* Didier Vachon has been appointed news director of the France Bleu regional public radio network, part of Radio France, CB News reports. As of Feb. 1 he will succeed Claude Bruillot who will go on to hold a new function within the group.


* Liberty Global plc unit Ziggo NV is still in negotiations with 21st Century Fox Inc. on a new Fox Sports contract, TotaalTV reports, based on a statement by a Ziggo spokesman. Due to the agreement Ziggo currently has, the cabler is forced to maintain significantly higher prices than competitors that have successfully renegotiated with Fox.

* VICE Media Inc. has announced the launch date for its lifestyle and culture channel Viceland in the Netherlands and Belgium, Media Magazine reports. As of March 1, the youth-focused channel will be available at Liberty Global's cable platform Ziggo in the Netherlands and Telenet in Belgium.

* RTL Group unit RTL Nederland introduced real-time advertising sales for their smart TV app RTL XL, Broadcast Magazine reports. Through video inventory management platform SpotX, advertisers will be able to buy advertising time for pre-rolls and mid-rolls in videos on the smart TV app.


* The planned merger between Danish media houses JP/Politikens Hus and Børsen has been called off, after the Danish Consumer Authority expressed serious concerns, Børsen reports. Instead, JP/Politikens Hus has acquired a 49.9% stake from Børsen's owner, Swedish media group Bonnier, for 400 million Danish kroner. This corresponds to the pricing in the original merger deal.

* The U.S. International Trade Commission said in a news release that it will probe a complaint from Nokia Technologies Oy that Apple Inc. imported mobile devices that allegedly infringe upon its patents. The Nokia Corp. unit wants the USITC to issue a limited exclusion order as well as a cease and desist order against the tech giant.

* The Swedish telecom authority Post- och telestyrelsen, or PTS, has sharpened its tone against Telia Co. AB, demanding that the telecom group terminates its offer of free surfing on chosen websites to customers which have reached their mobile data limits, Dagens Industri reports. Telia offers the customers access to social media and certain music streaming services, but PTS said in December 2016 that this was in breach of EU regulations.

* Nokia Corp. has signed two mobile network modernization and extension deals in Asia. The Finnish telco announced that it has entered a €30 million deal with Bangladeshi operator Teletalk to enhance its 2G and 3G coverage in rural areas and improve the service in urban regions.

* Nokia also said that it has signed an agreement with Cellcard in Cambodia to modernize and expand the operator's 3G and LTE network. Nokia is to deploy about 1,500 new sites in different areas and provinces outside of Phnom Penh.


* Telecom Italia SpA said that there are better offers than its own in the Italian rural broadband tender led by state infrastructure firm Infratel. The Italian telco pointed out that the tender's outcome will not affect its operations, as well as its goal of expanding its network coverage across the country.

* Orange unit Orange España deployed the most number of fixed broadband lines across Spain in November 2016, with about 24,000 lines or a 28.9% market share, Telecompaper reports, citing figures from Spanish telecom regulator CNMC. Meanwhile, Telefónica SA held the most number of fiber-to-the-home lines in Spain for the same period.


* Croatia's H1 Telekom is looking to acquire Optima Telekom, which earlier offered to acquire H1 Telekom, Broadband TV News reports. H1 Telekom's founder and minority stakeholder Zoran Curkovic intends to discuss the move in a Jan. 25 meeting, the report said, citing Poslovni.

* Cyfrowy Polsat SA's shareholders agreed for the restructuring of the Polish company by acquiring its Cyprus-based unit Metelem Holding, Broadband TV News reports. The move is expected to simplify the company's capital structure and decrease operating costs.

* Artyom Vartanyan stepped down as the vice president for retail services of VimpelCom's VimpelCom Russia, which is working under the Beeline brand, Telecompaper reports, citing

* Scripps Networks Interactive Inc.-owned TVN SA will broadcast Drone Racing League in Poland through its OTT streaming service , Digital TV Europe reports. The service will be available under the premium Player Plus pay-monthly offering.


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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.