Monday, January 11, 2021

Week 1 in Telecoms, Internet, Media


  • Orange:  Orange Bank acquires Anytime (banking for SOHO & SME)
  • Telefonica: Rumor: to sell Movistar Chile; Liberty Latin America, Claro, Entel interested
  • Altice Europe: EGM approves Next offer
  • Vodafone:
  • Vivendi: Tribunal in Lazio rules that Vivendi can exercise full voting rights with Mediaset stake
  • Roblox: Raises $520m at 45.00 $/share for $29.5b valuation from Altimeter Capital, Dragoneer Investment, Warner Music etc; plans IPO through direct listing
  • Niantic: Acquires Mayhem (gaming platform)
  • Atos: Offer for DXC Technology (enterprise services, spun off from HP in 2017), $10b
  • Google:
    • Workers establish Alphabet  Workers Union
    • Rumor: to invest $100m in ShareChat, total $200m with Snap, Twitter, others; valuation >$1b [see 201125]
  • Amazon:
    • Buys 11 Boeing 767-300 aircraft, 7 from Delta, 4 from WestJet, to be activated 2022
    • Launches Housing Equity Fund, $2b in 5 yr: preserve & create >20k affordable housing units near headquarters in Washington State’s Puget Sound region; Arlington (Virginia), Nashville (Tennessee)
  • Twitter: Acquires Breaker (social podcasting app) to build Twitter Spaces, Breaker app to close 210115
  • eBay: Rumor: to sell S Korean unit (Gmarket); MBK Partners, Affinity Equity Partners, KKR, Anchor Equity Partners interested
  • LG acquires controlling stake in Alphonso (data analytics, media planning & activation, video AI capabilities), $80m



  • KPN: Acquires 3 networks from Digitale Stad (Delta Rijssen Glasvezel Investeringen), 7700 premises: rural Westerveld (Drenthe), Lingewaard, Berg en Dal (Gelderland)




  • General:
    • Critics Choice Super Awards: winners The Boys (Amazon), Palm Springs (Hulu), Soul (Disney), Netflix (5 awards: Da 5 Bloods, BoJack Horseman, The Old Guard)
  • Cyfrowy Polsat launches SmartDOM bundles (BB, FT, OTT-TV): Basic 20 PLZ/mo, Comfort 30 PLZ/mo (45 channels)
  • Netflix:
    • Viewing stats: series Bridgerton viewed (>2 min) by >63m HH since premiere (201225); movie We Can Be Heroes viewed by 44m HH since premiere 201225, movie Midnight Sky viewed by 72m in first 4 weeks
    • Pauses filming due to corona virus
    • Leases production studio space at 2 facilities in S Korea
    • To raise prices UK Feb 2021: Basic, Standard, Premium from 6, 9, 12 to 6, 19, 14 GBP/mo
  • Walt Disney:
    • Star (tab within Disney+ [see 201210]) to contain ABC and Hulu titles
    • Disney+ raises prices (on addition of Star tab) 210223 in Europe for new subs (for existing subs from 210823) from 7 to 9 EUR/mo or from 70 to 90 EUR/yr
    • Disney+ distr deal with StarHub for Singapore from 210223
  • WarnerMedia (AT&T): HBO Max to end distr via Amazon Channels (in exchange orders AWS)
  • Discovery: Launches in US with apps for Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast, Android TV, iOS, Android, web; to add discovery+ Channels (24/7 feeds of favorite shows) end Jan 2021; linear Discovery channels on rival OTT-TV platforms (Philo, Hulu Live TV, fuboTV, YouTube TV) remain; distr deal for Discovery+ with Vodafone for 12 European countries (100m subs): UK (mobile only), IE, DE, Turkey (mobile only), IT, ES, PT, RO, GR, CZ, HU, Iceland; free promos varying by country; distr deal with Amazon Prime Video for Amazon Channels frrom later in 2021 - Launches also in Europe (NL, IT), replacing Dplay and Eurosport Player - Reconsiders JV Joyn in DE (with P7S1) - Distr deal with Starzplay for MENA
  • Quibi (closed): Sells >75 series & docus to Roku, to be added to Roku Channel (AVOD), 
    rumored price <$100m 
  • Struum: Plans launch of a la carte streaming service. licenses titles from >30 VOD services (total 20k titles); 10 $/mo for 100 credits, to be redeemed for programs, number of credits case-by-case; may refer to services for subscriptions 


  • Ofcom (UK) confirms EE (BT), Vodafone, 3 UK (CK Hutchison), O2 UK (Telefonica) as bidders in 5G auction (700 MHz, 3.6-3.8 GHz)
  • Orange FR & Free (Iliad) share rural sites & passive infra, 5 yr from 20Q1
  • Italian court rules against ‘discriminatory’ Deliveroo rider-ranking algorithm
  • US POTUS Trump signs Executive Order banning 8 Chinese mobile apps: Alipay (= Ant Group), QQ Wallet & WeChat Pay (= Tencent), CamScanner, SHAREit, Tencent QQ, VMate (= UCWeb = Alibaba Group), WPS Office (= Beijing Kingsoft Office Software)
  • Kenya launches Digital Services Tax 210101 for ownloadable & streaming digital content: 1.5% of gross transaction value (excl VAT)
  • Platforms ban POTUS Trump after assault on Capitol Hill: Reddit, Amazon (AWS), Twitch, Shopify, Twitter, Google (Play Store), YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, Apple (App Store), Discord, Pinterest, Stripe
  • Google: CMA (UK) starts antitrust investigation into 3rd-party cookie removal for Chrome browser by 2022, to be replaced by Privacy Sandbox (framework for delivering targeted advertisements without letting personalized user data enter the hands of third parties)
  • Amazon: CCI (India) asks competitors info in antitrust case over treatment of large 3rd-party sellers [see 200914]
  • Facebook:
    • High Court Vienna in case against Max Schrems: GDPR (based on Art 6) doesn't require Facebook to obtain users' consent to use their data (covered by user contract); Schrems to appeal at OGH (Austrian Supreme Court) to se if consent based on contract is sufficient
    • Italy court upholds fine (EUR 3.8m, originally EUR 350k) for copying location app (Nearby) from  Business Competence’s app Faround
    • WhatsApp updates ToS from 210208 outside EU/ UK: mandates data-sharing with Facebook (no opt-out)

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