Sunday, June 28, 2020

Week 26 in Telecoms, Internet, Media


Deutsche Telekom
SoftBank to sell 198.3m T-Mobile US shares o/w 133.5m to be offered to public (to be listed 200624) and max 10.0m to be bought by DT; Marcelo Claure (SoftBank COO) to buy 5m shares; T-Mobile US to distribute rights to shareholders as of 200625 (to buy 0.05 share); SoftBank's stake to be reduced to 8.6%, DT's rises to 43.5%; SoftBank to raise $21b - Sells 143m shares at $103 each + greenshoe 10.75m shares

Reviews banking partners


Gvt IT considers CDP raising stake to ~25% (by buying out Vivendi) to force networks merger with Open Fiber

Rumor: Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund (PIF) builds stake

Sells Digital Money Myanmar stake (34.2%) to Yoma Strategic Holdings, EUR 67.7m

TPG shareholders approve VHA merger, to close 200713, name change to TPG Telecom 200629    

Acquires MVNO Euro-Information Telecom (EIT; brands: Auchan Telecom, Cdiscount Mobile, CIC Mobile, Credit Mutuel Mobile, NRJ Mobile; >2m subs) from Credit Mutuel, EUR 530m + earn-out EUR 140-325m, to close end 2020; distr deal with Credit Mutuel/CIC (4200 branches)

Acquires 30% stake in Instadrone (drone pilot service); part of Solid-19 initiative

Altice Europe
Sells remaining Altice USA stake (17.9m shares)

Sidewalk Labs plans to spin out more smart city companies
Rumor: to acquire North (Canada), $180m: smart glasses; raised $160m

AWS order from Formula 1 for racing performance stats
Leases warehouse (1.5m ft^2) in NYC (Maspeth, Queens) & office/warehouse property under construction in Red Hook (Brooklyn)
CMA (UK) approves acquisition of 16% stake in Deliveroo
Buys naming rights for Seattle's new NHL home: to be named Climate Pledge Arena
Rumor: to acquire Zoox, >$1b: self-driving tech [see 200526] - Confirms, to remain stand-alone business, rumored price >$1.2b
Launches Smart Stores program in India at >10k stores: QR code to see items in stock, discounts, reviews

Facebook Gaming app rejected by Apple App Store for iOS
Acquires Ready at Dawn Studios (VR studio, created Lone Echo)
Instagram expands Shopping to more businesses (incl creators) - Expands Reels to FR, DE [a la TikTok, see 191112]
Trials Forecast app (developed by NPE Team) in US, Canada: crowd-sourced predictions (eg on corona virus)

Launches first shoppable show (Snap Original): The Drop - Has 229m DAU o/w 100m in US, reaches 90% of 13-24 year-olds in US

WWDC: launches macOS 11 Big Sur (based on new Arm processor Apple Silicon, based on Arm tech, for MacBooks, iMacs, Mac Pros; already in iPhones, iPads, Watches; to run iPhone & iPad apps on Mac, replacing Intel), iOS 14 (for iPhone, iPod Touch; adds Widgets, App Library; launches digital car key feature), iPadOS 14 (improves Apple Pencil), watchOS 7 (adds sleep tracking feature), tvOS 14 (adds Home app, supports multiple users for Apple Arcade games), launches Translate app for live conversation translation; updates Safari, Maps, Siri; Weather app, HomeKit; launches Mac mini for developers; to launch AirPods 3 21H1; HomePod to support 3rd-party music streaming services

Acquires CyberX (security), rumored price $165m
Raises $150m at $5.5b valuation, considers IPO

KKR raises stake to 6.61% (from 5.21%), EUR 31m

Sells Lagardere Studios to Mediawan Alliance (= Pierre-Antoine Capton, Xavier Niel, Matthieu Pigasse, MACSF, KKR), EUR 100m; Mediawan plans series of deals


Launches wholesale-only FTTH-service in ES; 966k FTTH lines in Barcelona, Madrid, Malaga, Seville, Valencia

Talks with Fluvius to cooperate on future data network in Flanders, decision by early 2021; ambitious FTTH project could be next step; Fluvius builds open access FTTH for both consumers & businesses in urban & rural areas, 1 Gb/s and in future more

CEBR for Openreach: nationwide FTTP in UK to increase productivity by GBP 59b by 2025 (500k jobs extra, 400k remote workers)

Eir's IFN (Ireland's Fibre Network) reaches 47 towns (total 848 locations); tarfget coverage 84% o/w 90% FTTP

KPN plans FTTH in Etten-Leur town (proposes Hybrid DSL/LTE for rural locations)
KPN reaches 2.4m HP, to add 1m; to end single-line repairs on copper networks

Verivox FTTH ranking: 1 Cologne (80%), 2 Munchen (75%), 3. Hamburg (72%), 4. Hannover (19%)    


Slovakia postpones 5G auction (700, 900, 1800 bands)
IMDA (Singapore) hands 5G licenses to SingTel and JVCo (= StarHub, M1): 100 MHz in 3.5 GHz band + 800 MHz mmWave each; M1/StarHub order RAN from Nokia for SA 5G-3500; M1 orders 5G core from Nokia; M1 orders mmWave RAN from Ericsson, Nokia, Huawei; SingTel orders equipment (RAN, core; 3.5 GHz & mmWave) from Ericsson - TPG Telecom awarded local 26/28 GHz licenses


Wind Tre (CK Hutchison) plans 5G launch end 2020 in 10 cities, target 70 cities YE 2021
Verizon plans DSS for nationwide 5G 2020: users keep using 5G tech outside 5G UWB coverage but in lower bands - Trials repeaters from Pivotal
1&1 Drillisch (newcomer DE) plans Open RAN & fully virtualized 5G network; proposes national roaming obligation for existing MNOs
EU awards funding to 11 research projects under Horizon 2020 framework (5G-PPP), focus on transport & industry
Verizon partners with incubator Digital Catapult to launch a 5G accelerator program in UK, focus on edge computing
NTT acquires 5% stake in NEC for 5G tech, JPY 60b = $560m
Vodafone Business plans Private 5G at Ford Motor campus in Dunton (UK)
Equinix launches 5G and Edge Proof of Concept Center (POCC) in Dallas
Vodafone IT partners with Filarmonica della Scala: concerts broadcast over 5G (26-28 June 2020 at, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram)


Proximus adds Apple TV as alternative STB (V7, based on Android P); Apple TV 4K 32 GB for EUR 70 with 4P subscription or EUR 200 stand-alone; adds Pickx app for Apple TV
Google launches group video calling for devices with Googla Assistant (incl Nest Hub Max)
DT plans open IoT Hub (platform, marketplace) for developers, operators, partners, suppliers 20H2; to establish Deutsche Telekom IoT GmbH 200701
AT&T ends Watch TV (skinny OTT bundle, 15 $/mo)
TV Vlaanderen/Telesat (= M7 = Canal+ = Vivendi) launches OTT services TV Light 10 EUR/mo, TV Basic 15 EUR/mo, TV Plus 20 EUR/mo

Amazon: To end support for Dash Wand (shopping device) 200721
Facebook: To end sale of Oculus Go VR headset
Microsoft: Closes all 83 retail stores permanently; charge $450m; to focus on online support at

Distr deal with Comcast: access on Xfinity X1 & Flex platforms

Peacock distr deal with Google for Android, Android TV, Chromecast devices; promo: free access for users to Peacock’s Premium tier until 201015 - And with Vizio (SmartCast) & LG (Smart TVs)
Adds 9 original series for Peacock launch 200715
Walt Disney
Disney+ to expand to PT, BE LU, NO, DK, SE, FI, Iceland.200915
To withdraw Disney Channel, Disney XD, Disney Junior in UK, content moves to Disney+
CivicScience: limited interest in bundle of Disney+, ESPN+, Hulu
Orders companion podcasts for HBO Max series from iHeartMedia (with WarnerMedia)
Warner Bros distr deal with Epic Games for in-game (Fortnite) screenings
To merge Films & Series package with Elisa's Viihde Aitio’s content into a standalone streaming service in Finland 20Q4, to be called Elisa Viihde Viaplay
Acquired by Tencent, to miantian brand for 6-12 mo; 25m active users in 13 countries
Distr deal with Play (PL): 6 mo free
Sued by Conan Doyle estate over movie Enola Holmes (about Sherlock Holmes's sister)
Amazon Prime Video
Rumor: to add live programming 24/7 to Prime Video - Denies
Reaches 100m MAU watching on TV
Trials 15 sec multi-segment videos for creators, on mobile [a la TikTok]


Network sharing
ACM proposes guidance on network sharing, consultation until 200814

Google Image Search to label (Fact Check) misleading photos & videos
Launches auto-deleting data (location & search history) from YouTube, Search
Plans paying News media in DE, Australia, Brazil for content on Google News & Discover; to create new News section, to include some paywalled content paid by Google

To fund computer science education & teacher professional development for every elementary school (154) in Dallas (78k students) - And in Prince George’s County (132 schools, 49k students)

Federal Court DE (overrules lower court, backs Bundeskartellamt): abuses market dominance to gather information about users without their consent; users to opt-in for combining WhatsApp or Instagram data with Facebook data
To warn users before sharing older content (>90 days) - To label posts from public figures when problematic; to remove posts that incite violence or attempt to suppress voting
Pathmatics: highest-spending 100 brands (Home Depot, Walmart, Microsoft, AT&T, Disney) accounted for $4.2b = 6% of ad rev in 2019 [see 200620]

Rumor: DoJ & state AGs plan investigation into Apple App Store

ACM (NL) to act against fake likes, fake reviews, fake followers (force exit business practices; fines)
FR, UK, ES, IT offer US to initially only include automated digital service companies for digital tax system; OECD targets agreement by Oct 2020

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