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Russia, Crimea bought $1.0M of Microsoft products; Roku launches devices in UK

Southeast Asian broadband providers report varying performance amid COVID-19

Cable networks react to pandemic by cutting SG&A, programming costs

Strong Competition Remains For Thailand Digital Terrestrial TV Channel

ITU: Regulators discuss impacts of COVID-19 on policymaking


Russia, Crimea bought $1.0M of Microsoft products; Roku launches devices in UK

TOP NEWS

* Several state organizations in Russia and Crimea have acquired Microsoft Corp. products worth about $1.0 million, Reuters reports, citing the Russian government's procurement database. The acquisitions come despite sanctions barring U.S.-based companies from doing business with Russian groups. Microsoft said it had been looking into the matter.

* Roku Inc. said its new streaming players Roku Express and Roku Streaming Stick+ will be available for sale online in the U.K. starting Oct. 19. Roku Express, an entry-level device which is five times more powerful than its predecessor, will be available for £29.99.

UK AND IRELAND

* Walt Disney Co.'s subscription video-on-demand service, DisneyLife, is now available in Ireland, Digital TV Europe reports, citing a company statement. Subscribers can opt for a multi-user account for families for €6.99 per month, which will offer access to Disney Channel (US), Pixar and blockbuster films and TV series.

* Equifax Inc. disclosed that a file containing 15.2 million U.K. records was compromised in a recent cybersecurity breach that may have also impacted as many as 145.5 million U.S. consumers and 8,000 Canadians. Email addresses, driver's license numbers, phone numbers, partial credit card information and passwords of 693,665 U.K. consumers were accessed. The remaining 14.5 million records may have contained consumers' names and birth dates. The House of Commons' Treasury Committee Chair Nicky Morgan demanded the credit reporting agency explain why it notified U.K. users only a month after the breach, Reuters reports.

* U.K.-based online fashion retailer ASOS Plc said that it launched a same-day delivery service to customers in London at a time when competition to provide wider and speedier delivery options is intensifying. The service will cost £12.95. ASOS plans to expand the service to other major U.K. cities in the coming months.

GERMANY, SWITZERLAND AND AUSTRIA

* German internet service DNSNET Internet Service GmbH has expanded its presence in Saxonia by opening a site in Barleben. The company provides digital infrastructure via glass fiber expansion in undersupplied regions across the country.

* Germany-headquartered software company Open-Xchange has raised €21 million in funding from Iris Capital and other shareholders. The funds will be used to expand the company's team of developers, engineers and specialists in order to help grow new business opportunities.

FRANCE

* Vivendi SA accepted an additional redemption request, representing approximately 1.6% of Havas SA's capital. This comes after the simplified public tender offer, bringing Vivendi's stake to 96.3%. Vivendi will launch a public buyout offer open to all Havas shareholders at a price of €9.25 per share, followed by a mandatory squeeze-out, to be presented before the French markets regulator Autorité des marchés financiers in November.

* Orange SA's employee shareholder associations ADEAS and CFE-CGC requested that Bpifrance be removed from the group's board of directors at the next meeting in May, La Tribune reports. The groups, which together account for 5% of the share capital, expressed concern about a potential conflict of interest as Bpifrance holds a stake in Kosc Telecom, a new operator competing in the enterprise telco sector.

* The 2018 budget for French public broadcaster France Télévisions SA may be increased by €20 million, Les Echos reports. A proposal was submitted to parliament to reduce the budget cuts from €30 million to €10 million, plus a postponement of one year in the ban of advertising on children's programs that would generate an additional €17 million.

NETHERLANDS, BELGIUM AND LUXEMBOURG

* The data-free music service of T-Mobile Netherlands does not violate European rules on net neutrality and can therefore continue to be offered, regulator ACM has decided. ACM had launched an investigation after a Dutch court ruled that the Deutsche Telekom AG unit's zero-rating service was violating EU legislation.

* Business telecom provider VrieService BV will become Yes Telecom from today, after the two companies merged in March, reports Telecompaper. With the acquisition, Yes Telecom, a daughter company of KPN NV, wants to strengthen its position in the SME market.

NORDIC COUNTRIES

* TDC A/S announced that it has won a large tele and data contract with the Danish state. The contract, named 50.48 Tele og data, covers mobile voice and data services, landline services, mobile handsets and modems. The contract is valid for two years, starting Jan. 1, 2018, and the procurement agency for the Danish state and municipalities has an option to extend it twice with one-year extensions.

* Ericsson AB has entered an agreement with Singtel to jointly establish a center of excellence to facilitate 5G development and deployment in Singapore. The center will also be open to Singtel's Australian subsidiary Singtel Optus Pty. Ltd. and the group's regional associates across Asia and Africa.

* Finnish telecom regulator Ficora announced that it has given Telia Finland Oyj permits to use the 3.5 GHz, 26 GHz and 28 GHz frequency bands in parts of Helsinki, Esbo and Vanda for 5G testing. The Telia Co. AB tests will explore the properties and functionality of the 5G base stations as part of Telia Finland's network.

SOUTHERN EUROPE

* Walt Disney and Telefónica SA's Movistar+ launched C.R.A.K.S., a transmedia esports project, in Spain. The project consists of a linear television series, called "C.R.A.K.S.," an interactive app to play the series video game and additional content like vlogs and tutorials, Rapid TV News reports.

* Portugal's Media Regulatory Authority moved its deadline to Oct. 17 for its decision on Altice NV's proposed acquisition of Media Capital, Telecompaper reports, citing Lusa. The ruling's postponement is due to doubts on the binding power of the opinion issued on the proposed transaction, according to the report, citing Publico.

* Matteo Orfini, president of Italy's ruling Democratic Party, said state lender Cassa Depositi e Prestiti could propose buying a portion or all of Vivendi's holding in Telecom Italia SpA, Reuters reports, citing Orfini's position paper posted on Key4Biz. The lawmaker's statement comes as Italian politicians have been calling to transfer Telecom Italia's network to a state-controlled entity, arguing that it should be an open and neutral platform for all telcos.

* A 52-year-old man in Italy will spend four months in jail after the country's Supreme Court found him guilty of using codes bought from third parties to access Sky plc unit Sky Italia SRL's pay-TV platform, Advanced Television reports. The man was also sentenced to pay a €2,000 fine. The act committed is considered a crime under a legislative decree.

EASTERN EUROPE

* Hackers with links to the Russian government were found to have been using Kaspersky Lab antivirus software in conducting surveillance on U.S. government activities, Reuters reports. Israeli intelligence officials who have been spying on the hackers earlier warned their U.S. counterparts of the intrusion, prompting the American government to order a ban on using Kaspersky software in government computers.

* Liberty Global plc's proposed takeover of Multimedia Polska SA could step up competition in the Polish cable market, which includes operators such as Orange Polska SA, Broadband TV News reports. Jerzy Straszewski, president of the Polish Chamber of Electronic Communications, added that he expects the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection to approve the deal shortly.

FEATURED NEWS

Netflix, Orange renew distribution deal; Yandex to launch online video service: In this monthly Eastern Europe Video Spotlight feature, S&P Global Market Intelligence provides a roundup of news related to over-the-top, video-on-demand and other online video initiatives in different Eastern European markets.

Conference Chatter: Tech community fears Brexit brain drain: Britain produces more technology unicorns, or businesses valied at $1 billion or more, than any other country in Europe. However, concerns are growing over startups' ability to hire the talent required to maintain its leading position after Brexit.

Conference Chatter: Netflix, Amazon may have long way to go in Eastern Europe: Speakers an Digital TV Central and Eastern Europe in Budapest cautioned international streaming giants against taking a global approach to local markets.

FEATURED RESEARCH

Global Multichannel: TV industry warns of barriers to expansion of pan-European targeted ad platforms: Speakers at the New Video Frontiers conference said addressable ad platforms that reach across Europe could boost revenues, but acknowledged that individual markets do not easily mesh.

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.