Thursday, September 24, 2020

Amazon Devices & Services event: new Echo, Fire TV eero, Ring devices, new eero security service and cloud gaming service, new AZ1 processor, new Alexa features

Launches new Echo family of devices, powered by Amazon AZ1 Neural Edge processor (made with MediaTek), with Alexa, Climate Pledge Friendly:
  • Echo ($100; built-in smart home hub, with support for Zigbee, Bluetooth Low Energy, Amazon Sidewalk)
  • Echo Dot ($50)
  • Echo Dot with clock ($60)
  • Echo Dot Kids Edition ($60 incl 1-yr Amazon Kids+ subscription)
  • Echo Show 10 ($250; with video calls, Alexa Group Calling, Alexa Guard, built-in smart home capabilities include support for Zigbee, BLE, Amazon Sidewalk; motorized base that swivels around automatically whenever you interact with it, keeps you in the frame when on video calls)
Launches new eero 6 Series mesh Wifi systems, with WiFi 6 (max 75 devices), built-in Zigbee smart home hub, with TrueMesh technology to intelligently route network traffic, automatic software updates:
  • eero Pro 6 (tri-band; $230, 400 or 600 for 1, 2 or 3)
  • eero 6 (dual-band; $130, 200 or 280 for 1, 2 or 3)
With security services:
  • eero Secure (3 $/mo)
  • eero Secure+ (10 $/mo)
Launches next-gen Fire TV sticks:
  • Fire TV Stick ($40; 1080p, 60 fp, HDR, Dolby Atmos, Alexa)
  • Fire TV Stick Lite ($30; HD, HDR, Alexa)
Launches Amazon Luna cloud gaming:
  • Luna cloud gaming service (beta in US; powered by AWS Game Servers, seamless screen handover, apps for Fire TV, PC, Mac, iPhone, Ipad, to add Android; works with Ubisoft and Remedy Entertainment for games)
  • Luna+ game channel (6 $/mo promo; 4K, 60 fps, with game channel with Ubisoft)
  • Luna Controller ($50 promo; with Cloud Direct technology, Alexa)
Alexa adds features:
  • Reading Sidekick (read books with kids)
  • Alexa Voice Profiles for Kids (automatically recognizes kid’s voice to switch to kid-friendly mode)
  • improvements to conversational & home monitoring capabilities
  • Natural Turn Taking (leverage acoustic, linguistic, visual cues to determine whether a request is directed towards it)
  • Alexa delete everything I ever said (removes all voice snippets associated with an Amazon account)
  • supports group audio & video (max 8; incl Amazon Chime, Zoom)
  • Alexa Care Hub (activity feed that shows when family members interact with smart home devices)
Ring adds cameras, plans end-to-end encryption for video feeds, launches:
  • Always Home Cam (autonomous drone that can fly around inside the home; 1080p, integrates Ring Alarm)
  • Car Cam ($200; 2 cameras for inside and outside recording, incl Car Alarm; uses WiFi and 4G; pings first responders automatically in the event of serious crash; Traffic Stop triggers cameras via Alexa to start record and store in cloud)
  • Car Alarm ($60; uses Amazon Sidewalk)
  • Car Connect (platform to integrate existing cameras, partners with Tesla)

Monday, September 21, 2020

Iliad to acquire Play - what's next?

Iliad is acquiring Play, the largest MNO in Poland. It secures 40.2% from current shareholders and makes a public offer for the remainder. Iliad also operates in France and Italy and holds a large stake in Eir (Ireland). Founder Xavier Niel (through NJJ) owns operators in Switzerland, Monaco and Cyprus.

The details:
  • Iliad acquires 40.2% controlling stake (incl Board majority) from Kenbourne (Novator, 20.1%) and Tollerton (Panos Germanos, 20.1%) at 39.00 PLZ/share
  • other shareholders: NN/OFE 5.6%, free float 54.%
  • launches public offer: 39.00 PLZ/share cash (100% equity value EUR 2.2b, EV EUR 3.479b = 6.8x EBITDA AL TTM = 9.9x OpFCF TTM pre synergies), premium 39% over 200918
  • acceptance period 201019-201117, settlement & clsoing 201125
  • to be financed from cash & debt, leverage to rise pro forma from 2.2 to 3.2
  • to continue spinning off & selling its passive infrastructure;
  • 'Through this acquisition, iliad will cement its position as a pan-European telecom player'
  • Iliad becomes #6 telco in Europe based on mobile subscribers (behind Vodafone, DT, Telefonica, Orange, 3 Group Europe)
More acquisitions appear to be a matter of time. The values Iliad/Niel appears to seek:
  • Mobile centric, with an eye on expanding into fixed.
  • Maverick character.
  • Growth opportunities from either market growth or market share growth.
  • Can do without passive infrastructure.
  • Efficiency, simplicity.
  • Developing hardware and services in-home.
Candidates:
  • Spain: MasMovil (being acquired currently by private equity)
  • Netherlands: T-Mobile
  • Belgium: Orange
  • 3 Group Europe (CK Hutchison), except 3 Ireland
  • Digi/RCS&RDS
  • PPF

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Netflix: all the originals and licensing announcements of Week 38


Week 38 in Telecoms, Internet, Media

Corporate

  • United Internet reduces EBITDA 2020 forecast to EUR 1.18b (from EUR 1.266b in 2019) on higher MVNO costs to Telefonica DE (price increases from July 2020 & no price degression as previously) but negotiations ongoing
  • A3 offer from Bredband2
    • SEK 622m, SEK 6 cash + 8 new Bredband2 shares per share (38% premium over 200911)
    • accepted by 72%, 90% acceptance required; EGM 201016, acceptance period 201027 - 201117; to close end 2020
    • combined pro forma 450k fiber lines = 15% share
  • Inwit (TIM, Vodafone): to enter Stoxx Europe 600 index 200921
  • 3 Group Europe (CK Hutchison)
  • AT&T Shareholder update
    • focus on strategic growth: broadband (fiber, 5G), software-based entertainment (HBO Max, AT&T TV), leverage WarnerMedia’s legacy
    • to align operations to support strategy; to optimize returns of business lines that fall outside of focus areas (may lead to further monetization of non-core assets)
    • to bundle wireless services with HBO Max (to support acquisition & retention efforts, to support uptake of higher-ARPU unlimited wireless plans)
    • to add AVOD tier to HBO Max; HBO Max passed YE subs target (36m)
    • target div pay-out 60s (low end), to lower net debt
  • Verizon acquires Tracfone
    • prepaid MVNO, 21m subs, rev 2019 $8.1b, 90k retail locations, 850 employees
    • from America Movil, max $6.90b ($3.125b cash + $3.125b in VZ stock + max $650m cash earn-out), to close 21H2
  • Comcast mobile strategy: 1. MVNO on Verizon, 2. WiFi, 3. Over time own mobile network
  • Spark strategy update 2021-2023
    • focus on established (wireless, broadband, cloud) & future growth markets (IoT, digital health, sport)
    • to reduce plans from 100s to 10s, faster time-to- market (from 4 mo to on-demand), faster on-boarding partners (from 6 mo to 10 days)
    • targets 2023: rev growth, cost reduc NZD 40-50m over 3 yr, customer care interactions -20%, 90% of subs off-copper (to fiber or wireless)
    • removes data cap for FWA over 4G
  • ViacomCBS sells CNET Media Group (CNET, GameSpot, Metacritic, TVGuide.com, Chowhound, Roadshow, ZDNet) to Red Venures, $500m, to close 20Q4
  • Warner Music acquires HipHopDX (news, reviews, commentary website; also on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube)
  • Bytedance POTUS Trump approves deal with Oracle
    • To establish TikTok Global as US company, Oracle acquires 12.5%, Walmart 7.5%, Oracle to become TikTok's cloud provider, to hire 25k, to establish $5b education fund (Bytedance denies), from taxes to be paid
    • Bytedance retains 80% of TikTok and control over AI tech powering receommendations
    • TikTok plans IPO in US within 1 yr
    • US delays dowload ban TikTok to 200927, Bytedance sues to block ban
    • District Court SF halts WeChat ban (undermines free speech rights)
  • Mediahuis acquires NDC Mediagroep (600 employees; Leeuwarder Courant, Friesch Dagblad, Dagblad van het Noorden, 7 other newspapers, 40 weekly's
  • EQT acquires Casa.it: real estate classifieds platforms, to close Dec 2020; with this EQT IX 10-15% invested
  • Unity
  • Snowflake
    • IPO price $120; first trade $245, close $253.93
    • Sutter Hill Ventures owned 50m shares (17.4%), Altimeter Capital 36m shares, ICONIQ Capital 34m shares (14%), Redpoint Ventures 22m shares (9%), Sequoia Capital 21m shares (8.6%)


Branding


Networks

  • Google Fiber plans 2 Gb/s trial in Nashville & Huntsville Oct 2020 (later in all 19 cities), 100 $/mo (incl WiFi 6 router)
  • Altitude to raise >EUR 500m in equity & debt 20Q4, to invest EUR 2.5b in fiber in FR in 3 yr    
  • Telenet considers XGS-PON in case >2.5 Gb/s is needed
  • Ookla Speedtest Global Index (Aug 20): global average FBB 84/44 Mb/s, MBB 35/11 Mb/s; FBB: Sing #1 (218 Mb/s), HK #2 (206), Romania #3 (175), Thailand #4 (173), CH #5 (171), NL #25 (120); MBB: SK #1 (113), China #2 (111), UAE #3 (111), Qatar #4 (88), China #3 (105), KSA #5 (78), NL #6 (75) 
  • PTS (SE) adds SEK 1.40b to BB subsidies  
  • 5G: 
    • Zain KSA expands to Qurayyat, Ras Tanura, Tabarjal; total 38 cities
    • DISH orders cloud-native core network for SA 5G from Nokia - FCC relaxes deadline for build-out to mid 2023
    • Telefonica ES to expand 5G (3.5 GHz & mmWave) to Abanca-Riazor stadium in A Coruña (home of the Real Club Deportivo football team): live broadcasting of sporting events with automatic production based on edge computing & AI; KissCams, heat maps through AR; multi-camera TV), with cinfo, Ericsson; with occasional 3.5 GHz spectrum leasing from Vodafone ES
    • SmarTone (HK) launches FWA over 5G (Home 5G Broadband Service)
    • EU launches FUDGE-5G (Fully Disintegrated Private Networks for 5G Verticals) innovation initiative for Industry 4.0, Private 5G
    • O2 UK expands 5G to Tyne & Wear, Surrey, Lincoln
    • Verizon trials in-building 5G mmWave solutions from Samsung (small cell), Corning (composite fiber: fiber for data transmission and copper for powering, in one cable) with MEC for hospitals, manufacturing facilities, warehouses, schools, ports, retail stores etc; to support Private 5G
    • Telefonica partners with Rakuten on Open RAN
    • Elisa launches 5G in city #39: Rovaniemi
    • US Cellular demos  extended range 5G NR mmWave, with Ericsson, Qualcomm: >100 Mb/s at >5 km; enables FWA
  • 6G: Radiall paper proposes massive modular 6G mesh networks with tiny antennas
  • DAB: Media Broadcast (= Freenet) plans 2nd DAB+ network (16 channels) in DE via Antennae Deutschland (JV with Absolut Digital): 71 locations, 83% pops coverage (67m), 49m HH (61%), 85% of freeways, broadcasting to start Oct 2020

Media: video


Media: music

  • Spotify partners with Songkick (= Warner Music Group) & Ticketmaster to add virtual event listings    
  • Amazon Music adds podcasts in US, UK, DE, Japan (no additional cost, on all tiers, on all devices) with originals from DJ Khaled, Becky G, Will Smith, Dan Patrick, et al
  • Google Nest integrates RadioApp (Commercial Radio Australia)
  • Facebook: Music licensing deals (with Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, Kobalt Music Group, BMG publishing, Merlin) for Facebook Gaming


Other services

  • VoIP: Telekom DE launches NIMS (Next Generation IP Multimedia Subsystem) platform: cloudification of fixed telephony (18m lines)
  • IPTV
    • Vodafone RO launches Vodafone TV
    • Bouygues orders Google Ad Manager platform (first in Europe) for addressable TV advertising service - Google Ad Manager launches Dynamic Ad Insertion (DAI): insert ads into live events


Hardware, CPE

  • Google
    • Plans hardware event 200930 to launch Pixel 5 (5G), Pixel 4A (5G), new Chromecast (Chromecast with Google TV, $50, Project Sabrina), new smart speaker
    • Launches Google Series One meeting room kits (touchscreen controller, mic pods, 2 cameras, compute unit, soundbar) for Google Meet (for businesses), from $2700; made by Lenovo
  • Facebook Connect
    • Launches Oculus Quest 2, $300 (64 GB) or $400 (256 GB): standalone, 90 MHz refresh rate; to discontinue Oculus Rift Sspring 2021
    • Adds games & apps for Oculus; launches Oculus Move for Quest: fitness tracker; launches Oculus Link (for Quest) out of beta: to play Rift games on standalone Quest; plans Infinite Office for Quest: virtual office space, with Spatial for virtual meetings
    • Plans smart glasses (Project Aria) 2021 for AR, with EssilorLuxottica (brand Ray-Ban); Facebook Messenger and Portal to suppport AR from 2021 (incl 3rd-party through Spark AR Studio); partners with NYT (AR filters & effects on Instagram) and Smithsonian for AR projects
    • Demos Facebook Horizon (closed beta): metaverse (social VR)
  • Apple event Time Flies
    • Launches 2 new iPads (new iPad Air from $600, with new) Apple Pencil, $130; new iPad gen 8, $330)
    • 2 new Apple Watches (Series 6; with sensor to measure oxygen level and altimeter and U1 locator chip and Family Setup; Series SE from $280; incl 3 mo free Apple Fitness+)
    • New Fitness+ service (workout classes; app for Apple Watch and iPhone; 10 $/mo or 80 $/yr
    • Apple One bundles (Individual: Apple Music, Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, iCloud storage (50GB) for 15 $/mo; Family: same but 200 GB storage, 20 $/mo for max 6 members, Premier: Apple Music, Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, 2TB of iCloud storage, Apple News+, Apple Fitness+ for 30 $/mo for max 6 family members)
    • New A14 Bionic processor (first in new iPad Air, in future for iPhone 12)
    • New iOS 14, iPadOS 14, watchOS 7, tvOS 14 - Spotify objects to Apple One on antitrust grounds (favors Apple Music)
  • Sony to launch PS 5 ($500, EUR 500, GBP 450, JPY 50k) & PS 5 Digital Edition ($400, EUR 400, GBP 360, JPY 40k) 201112
  • 5G


Regulatory

  • Net neutrality: EU CoJ: zero-rating violates NN regulations
  • Spectrum
    • RTR (AT) ends 5G auction, EUR 202m; Magenta EUR 87m for 90 MHz (2x20 in 700, 20 (+ 10) in 1500, 2x15 in 2100), A1 EUR 66m for 80 MHz (30 in 1500, 2x25 in 2100), 3 AT EUR 50m for 90 MHz (2x10 in 700, 30 in 1500, 2x20 in 2100); 1702 of 2100 communities to be covered by 2027 (Magenta 615, 3 AT 739, A1 349)
    • TRA (UAE) designates 26 GHz spectrum (24.25-27.50) for 5G; to award 1 GHz Sep 2020, more 21Q3

  • Facebook: rumor: FTC plans antitrust suit by end 2020 over dominance in social media (related to relations with app developers and past acquisitions of Instagram & WhatsApp)
  • Self-regulation
    • Facebook launches hub to battle fake news about climate change
    • Twitter: launches info hub to battle misinformation around US presidential elections 2020


Thursday, September 17, 2020

Copying TikTok: Instagram (Reels), Snapchat, Spotify (Video Moments), YouTube (Shorts)

To follow (?):
  • Twitter could expand voice tweets.
  • Pinterest is seeing high growth in video posts.
  • LinkedIn may lend itself for a video elevator pitch.


Facebook Connect AR event

Hardware
  • Launches Oculus Quest 2, $300 (64 GB) or $400 (256 GB): standalone, 90 MHz refresh rate; to discontinue Oculus Rift Sspring 2021
  • Plans smart glasses (Project Aria) 2021, with EssilorLuxottica (brand Ray-Ban)
Services
  • Adds games & apps for Oculus
  • Launches Oculus Move for Quest: fitness tracker
  • Launches Oculus Link for Quest out of beta: to play Rift games on standalone Quest
  • Plans Infinite Office for Quest: virtual office space, with Spatial for virtual meetings
  • Facebook Messenger and Portal to suppport AR from 2021 (incl 3rd-party through Spark AR Studio)
  • Partners with NYT (AR filters & effects on Instagram) and Smithsonian for AR projects
  • Demos Facebook Horizon (closed beta): metaverse, social VR

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Apple Time Flies event: 2 iPads, 2 Watches, 2 services, 1 processor, 4 OSs - no iPhone 12

Tablets: 2 new iPads
  • iPad Air from $600, with new) Apple Pencil, $130
  • iPad gen 8, $330
Watches: 2 new Apple Watches
  • Series 6; with sensor to measure oxygen level, altimeter, U1 locator chip, Family Setup
  • Series SE from $280; incl 3 mo free Apple Fitness+
Services:
  • Fitness+ service: workout classes; app for Apple Watch and iPhone; 10 $/mo or 80 $/yr
  • Apple One bundles
    • Individual: Apple Music, Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, iCloud storage (50GB) for 15 $/mo
    • Family: same but 200 GB storage, 20 $/mo for max 6 family members
    • Premier: Apple Music, Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, 2TB of iCloud storage, Apple News+, Apple Fitness+ for 30 $/mo for max 6 family members
Processor:
  • A14 Bionic processor (first in new iPad Air, in future for iPhone 12)
OS:
  • iOS 14
  • iPadOS 14
  • watchOS 7
  • tvOS 14

Monday, September 14, 2020

Week 37 in Telecoms, Internet, Media

Corporate

M&A

  • Proximus: Considers sale of Be-Mobile (develops apps for parking, toll, mobility; 92.7%, Jan Cools 7.3%; rev >EUR 40m)
  • Vodafone: Rumor: STC to reduce price (originally $2.39b) for Vodafone Eypt stake (55%)
  • Altice Europe: Agrees on Next Private (Patrick Drahi) offer of 4.11 EUR/share (A & B) cash (cum dividend) = EUR 2.5b for minority shareholders (premium 24% over 200910, 17% over 180 days); equity valuation EUR 4.9b; minimum acceptance level 95% (may be waived down); followed by statutory squeeze-out; to close and delist 21Q1
  • MasMovil: Indumenta Pueri accepts offer from Lorca    
  • GTT: Bloomberg: to sell European fiber networks (Apollo, formerly Interoute, Hibernia), candidates Macquarie, AustralianSuper, 3i; $2b
  • Liberty Global: Fitch assigns BB-/Stable to Virgin Media O2 UK
  • EQT

Earnings


5G

Launches

  • Orange ES launches NSA 5G (in 3.6 GHz band) in Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Seville, Malaga; with Ericsson (Core & RAN in Madrid & Barcelona)
  • Yoigo (MasMovil) launches NSA 5G (80 MHz in 3.5 GHz band) in 15 cities: Alicante, Alcobendas, Almeria, Avila, Barcelona, Hospitalet de Llobregat, Huesca, Jaen, Madrid, Malaga, Melilla, Orense, Salamanca, Seville, Valencia
  • TDC launches 5G (3.5 GHz) in Copenhagen, Odense, Aarhus, Helsingor at 3k sites, with Ericsson; target 90% coverage YE 2020
  • Vodafone CZ plans 5G launch 201001 in 5 cities, with DSS
  • Telenor SE plans 5G launch Oct 2020; target nationwide coverage (99% of pops, 90% of geo) by 2023    

Expansions

  • DNA 5G reaches >1m pops in 24 munis (Espoo, Heinola, Helsinki, Hyvinkää, Hämeenlinna, Jyväskylä, Kuopio, Lahti, Lieto, Nokia, Oulu, Pirkkala, Pori, Raahe, Raisio, Rauma, Rusko, Seinäjoki, Sipoo, Tampere, Turku, Vaasa, Vantaa, Ylöjärvi); target 1.5m pops YE 2020; plans expansion to Järvenpää, Kaarina, Kangasala, Kauniainen, Kerava, Naantali, Nurmijärvi, Hyrylä in Tuusula
  • O2 UK extends 5G coverage to Tyne and Wear cy, Surrey cy, Lincoln

Services

  • Elisa plans 5G-based drone trial in Helsinki, with Vertical Hobby, Helsinki Rescue Department, Stara, Forum Virium Helsinki
  • BBC, Al Jazeera Media Network, BT Sport, EBU, ITV, Olympic Broadcasting Service, SVT, TV2, ViacomCBS Networks Int, YLE to demo broadcast production over 5G in Amsterdam 200910, over Vodafone NL & EE (BT) 5G; tech partners: Aviwest, LiveU, Sony, Huawei, Mobile Viewpoint, NewTek, Univ of Strathclyde
  • Telekom DE (DT) launches MagentaMobil, prepaid, 97 EUR/yr; unlimited on-net voice/text in DE, 200 min/mo to DE numbers, 2 GB/mo, access to 5G
  • Optus adds 2 5G tiers: 5G Internet Entertainer Plan (90 AUD/mo; no throttling, average spead 214 Mb/s; incl Optus Sport & Fetch Mighty box) & 5G Internet Everyday Plan (75 AUD/mo, max 100 Mb/s; unlimited data, Optus Sports)

Hardware


Content

Video

Gaming


Regulatory

Platforms individually

  • Facebook: WSJ: EU's DPC (Ireland) orders Facebook to suspend data transfer of EU users to US (Privacy Shleld invalidated 200716)
  • Twitter: Expands policies against election-related misinformation (add fact-check labels or hide tweets that contain false or misleading information that causes confusion about election rules or with unverified information about election rigging)
  • Apple: Updates App Store Guidelines (2.5.16): content in App Clips, widgets, extensions, notifications must be related to main app; game streaming allowed (each individual game to be submitted individually to Apple’s App Review; subscribe through in-app purchases within the service’s catalog app); free standalone apps allowed (without in-app purchases and no calls to action for purchasing elsewhere)

Platforms general


Sunday, September 13, 2020

Netflix: all the originals and licensing announcements of Week 37


Monday, September 07, 2020

Week 36 in Telecoms, Internet, Media

NETWORKS 

Fixed/FTTP

  • Cable.co.uk & M-Lab: Worldwide Broadband Speed League (551m speed tests in 221 countries): #1 Liechtenstein (media downlaod speed 230 Mb/s), #2 Jersey (218), #3 Andorra (213), #4 Gibraltar (183), #5 Luxemburg (118), #11 NL (96)
  • TIM approves establishment of FiberCop, KKR taking stake (37.5% for EUR 1.8b based on equity value EUR 4.7b, EV EUR 7.7b), Fastweb (Swisscom) to own 4.5% for including Flash Fiber stake, TIM to own 58%, to close 21Q1; TIM to be exclusive provider of construction & maintenance; FiberCop to employ 100 FTE
  • Telefonica: Telefonica ES plans copper switch-off by 2025
  • FR adds $240m to rural fiber program (2013) 

Mobile/5G

Launches

  • Singtel launches 5G trial (first 20k subs free, additional pay 10 SID/mo extra): 2.1 & 3.5 GHz bands, NSA, max >1 Gb/s, with smartphones
  • Telefonica ES launches 5G, target coverage 75% YE 2020: NSA, DSS, in 3.5, 1.8/2.1 GHz bands
  • DirecTV Colombia (= AT&T;owns 2×15 MHz of FDD-LTE & 40 MHz TD-LTE spectrum in 2600MHz band) launches FWA over 5G in Bogota, max 100 Mb/s
  • SmarTone (HK) adds FWA over 5G service, 150 HKD/mo ($19)
  • Lao Telecommunications Company (LTC) launches 5G in Vientiane
  • Telia DK and Telenor DK to launch 5G end Sep 2020

Expansion

Technology

CPE

Network equipment

Regulatory



SERVICES

Telco bundles
  • EE (BT) launches The Full Works Plan for iPhone: unlimited mobile data, iPhone upgrade anytime, access to Apple Music, Apple TV+ & Apple Arcade; add-ons: BT Sport Ultimate app 
  • Sunrise resells Samsung Sero (Lifestyle TV, 43 inch, rotates between horizontal & vertical orientation), 71 CHF/mo for 24 mo for BB subs; as part of accessory plans (also: Samsung TVs, Sonos Beam Soundbar, Apple iPad & Apple TV) 
  • 3 UK bundles FWA over 5G with free Apple TV 
Video

Walt Disney

  • Distr deal with TIM: bundles TIMvision, Netflix, Disney+ in Mondo Intrattenimento service as part of TIM Super Wi-Fi TV over FTTH (max 1 Gb/s) or FTTC (max 200 Mb/s), 50 EUR/mo or stand-alone 14 EUR/mo
  • Rumor: Disney+ to add Group Watch feature 200904, max 7 people
Netflix

  • Launches promo for non-subs: free access without sign-up to 10 season 1 episodes 1 of orginal series (Murder Mystery, Élite, Boss Baby: Back in Business, Bird Box, When They See Us, Love Is Blind, The Two Popes, Our Planet, Grace and Frankie), only on Android, PC, Mac
  • Dynamically adjust bit rate to match the content, reduces average bit rate by 50% with no loss in image quality, number of rebuffers -65%
Other

Music

Amazon Music (55m users) partners with Twitch to add live streaming music to Amazon Music app

Web services

Google

  • Launches Kids Space mode for Android tablets, first for Lenovo Tab M10 HD Gen 2: access to library of apps, games, videos, books
  • Updates Keen (social net collections of links, texts, etc): adds photo uploads
  • Google Maps adds in-app parking payment over Google Pay, first in Austin (Texas)


CORPORATE

AT&T

Vodafone

Vivendi
  • Demands (with Amber Fund) EGM at Lagardere; combined 44% of capital, <30% of votes; demand new Supervisory Board members
  • ECJ: Italian law requiring Vivendi to freeze its stake in Mediaset on antitrust grounds infringed the union’s regulations
Bytedance
Other
  • Sunrise: Salt sues in US over planned UPC Schweiz merger; subpoenas Liebrty Global, Liberty Media, Liberty Global Chair John Malone & CEO Mike Fries
  • Telefonica DE: Transfers 5975 rooftop sites & 58 tower sites to Telxius (= Telefonica), EUR 1.5b
  • Iliad: 20Q2
  • Patreon: Raises $90m from New Enterprise Associates, Wellington Management etc at $1.2b valuation; total raised $256m
  • Palantir: Amended S1 IPO filing

REGULATORY

Facebook
Other
Platforms general
  • Apple (developers), Google (ad buyers), Amazon (3rd-party sellers) to pass on Digital Services Tax in UK (2%), AT (5%), Turkey (5%) from Nov 2020
  • US gvt/POTUS Trump plans action against more Chinese apps, after TikTok
  • India bans 118 more Chinese apps (prejudicial to sovereignty & integrity of India, defence of India, security of state, public order); total 224
  • DoJ Austria plans platform (>100k users, rev >EUR 500k) obligation to remove criminal content within 24 hr & otherwiser illegal content withion 7 days, non-compliance fine max EUR 10m 
  • Multilateral Mutual Assistance and Cooperation Framework for Competition Authorities (MMAC) established by US DoJ, US FTC, UK CMA, New Zealand Commerce Commission, Competition Bureau Canada, Australian ACCC: to improve coordinated & pro-active informal cooperation & assistance
  • Axios: Facebook, Google, Twitter, Reddit are holding regular meetings with federal law enforcement & intelligence agencies to discuss potential threats to US Presidential election integrity.
  • AT&T proposal: Section 230 should not apply if platform actively curates, proposes disclosures about how they collect & use data, how they rank search results, how they interconnect & interoperate with others,how their algorithms preference some content, products & services over others
  • 15 Streaming services in India (Zee5, Viacom18, Disney Hotstar, Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, MX Player, Jio Cinema, Eros Now, Alt Balaji, Arre, HoiChoi, Hungama, Shemaroo, Discovery Plus, Flickstree) adopt self-regulation (Universal Self-Regulation Code for OCCPs) to pre-empt government censorship::age classification, content descriptions, control tools, create consumer complaints department and/or an internal committee and an advisory panel to deal with complaints and appeals