Sunday, April 25, 2021

Week 16 in Telecoms, Internet, Media


  • General
  • Ratings
  • Results
    • VodafoneZiggo: Impact Report 2020; 100% green energy, net CO2 emissions zero, 7501 employees, total 4572 towers, 118m IoT connections, uptime mobile 99.8%, uptime fixed 99.9%, NPS: Vodafone converged consumer +27, Ziggo converged consumer +7, hollandsnieuwe +22, Vodafone converged business +6, Ziggo converged business -4; Launches CSR targets 2025 (People Planet Progress): halve environmental impact, support 2m people in society
    • Eurofiber: 2020; 38300 network km, adds 40 km/week, 32932 customer connections, 215 datacenters, NPS +33, market share corporate fiber 26%, 100% renewable energy, total invested EUR 820m (50% of annual revenues)
    • Vodafone Ireland: Vodafone IE 2020/21, total 1020 employees
    • Orange Belgium: 21Q1; maintains guidance 2021: rev growth LSD, EBITDA AL EUR 320-340m, capex EUR 200-220m (incl MWingz 50/50 JV with Proximus)
    • Orange: 21Q1
    • Telia: 21Q1; outlook 2021 unchanged: SR flat-LSD, adj mEBITDA flat-LSD, capex SEK 14.5-15.5b; outlook 2021-2023 unchanged: SR LSD growth, adj EBITDA LSD-MSD growth, capex/sales 15% by 2023
    • Tele2: 21Q1; book value T-Mobile NL stake (25%) SEK 7.163b, profit contribution 21Q1 SEK -3m; proposes extraordinary dividend 3.00 SEK/share = SEK 2.1b
    • AT&T: 21Q1; outlook 2021: rev growth 1%, EPS stable, capital investment $22b o/w capex $17b, FCF $26b, div pay-out ratio high 50s
    • Verizon: 21Q1
    • EQT: 21Q1
    • Netflix: 21Q1; highlights:
      • net additions 21H1 slow due to pull forward and delayed slate dynamics plus typical seasonality (not new competitors); biggest competitors linear TV & YouTube, no material effect expected from economies reopening after corona virus pandemic
      • Targets 2021: to spend >$17b cash on content (2020: $11.8b), oper margin 20%, to maintain $10-15b in gross debt, to launch SBB $5b 21Q2, password sharing crackdown will not be aggressive; plans movies based on Sony IP based on distr deal [see 210408]
      • Viewing stats first 28 days: series Firefly Lane 49m, Cobla Kai season 3 45m,  Fate: The Winx Saga 57m, Ginny & Georgia season 1 52m, movies I Care A Lot 56m, YES DAY 62m, Outside the Wire 66m, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before (final movie) 51m, foreign productions  Below Zero (Spain) 47m, Space Sweepers (S Korea) 26m, Squared Love (Poland) 31m, Who Killed Sara? (Mexico) 55m, Lupin (France) 76m
    • Snap: 20Q1; outlook 21Q2: rev $820-840m, adj EBITDA between -20m and zero

  • CSR
    • Telia
      • Launches new sustainability goals: empower societies in the Nordics & Baltics to achieve zero CO2 & waste by 2030, reach 1m people through digital inclusion initiatives by 2025, implement winning privacy & security strategies by 2023 to gain & maintain customers’ trust
      • Accenture report for Telia The Shift: The Role of Telcos in the Circular Economy: applying circular principles unlocks values of $45-80b annually

    • Orange PL sets climate goals: CO2 reduction, increase in renewable energy
    • Akamai: New sustainability goals: 5 goals in 3 areas (Akamai intelligent edge platform, communities in which it lives, works & operates, global supply chain): 100% Renewably-sourced Energy, 50% More Energy-Efficient Platform, 100% Platform Emissions Mitigationm Responsible Supply Chain Management, Global Expansion of 100% Electronic Waste Recycling Program
    • Amazon: The Climate Pledge reaches >100 signatories (5m employees in 16 countries), incl Elisa, Telefónica
  • WFH


  • FTTH
    • Netherlands


  • Telecoms
    • Telenet launches ONE (to replace WIGO and YUGO): internet access (fixed & mobile & WiFi, no data cap), pricing speed-based pricing (at home 150 Mb/s or 1 Gb/s; away from 30 Mb/s), dependent on household; TV as add-on (managed via TV-box or OTT via Flow app); free extra data SIM (optionally for Minimodem: hotspot for max 10 devices)
  • Video
    • Pathe Thuis: Reaches 1m active users; usage 2021: total 7m films, average 2.2 viewers per film; distr deal with KPN from 210701: access to 3700 titles
    • Samsung: Expands Samsung TV Plus (on Samsung smart TVs) to NL, BE, LU, SE, FI, NO, DK, IE, PT; total 23 countries; also for Galaxy smartphones & tablets
    • Sony: Plans to trial PlayStation Plus Video Pass (15 movies, 6 series) in Poland, free for PlayStation Plus subs
    • Walt Disney: Content deal with Sony for Disney+, Hulu, ABC, Disney Channels, Freeform, FX, NatGeo in US for new theatrical releases & library titles 2022-2026 for Pay 1 TV window (after Netflix)
    • MTS plans OTT service Kion 210420 (to add AVOD tier end 2021)
  • Music, audio, podcasts
    • Apple
      • Launches Podcast Subscriptions in 170 countries per creator, price set by creator (from 49 c/mo in US; with Family Sharing)
      • Apple takes 30% in first year, 15% thereafter
      • Launches Apple Podcasters Program for creators, 20 $/mo
    • Spotify: WSJ: plans podcast subscription, creators keep 100% of fees (currently hosts 2.2m podcasts)
    • SoundCloud: Reaches 100k creators
    • Reddit: Launches Reddit Talk for subreddits, with moderators [a la Clubhouse]
    • Facebook: Plans new audio services in 3-6 mo
      • Soundbites (recorded audio messages)
      • Podcasts (discovery)
      • Live Audio Rooms (in Groups in Facebook & Messenger) [a la Clubhouse]
      • establishes Audio Creator Fund
      • partners with Spotify to integrate music (Project Boombox)
  • Hardware
    • Google: Fitbit launches Luxe, $150 (incl 6 mo Fitbit Premium): fitness tracker
    • Apple: Spring Loaded event
      • Launches new iPad (with M1 processor)
      • new Apple TV (with A12 Bionic processor, 4K, new Siri remote control)
      • AirTags (with U1 chip; keychain device for locating devices)
      • iOS 14.5
      • new iMac computer (with M1 chip) with new Magic Keyboard (with Touch ID)
      • launches Apple Card Family (to build joined credit)
      • launches podcast subscriptions


  • Spectrum auctions
    • Slovenia raises EUR 164m from multiband auction (700, 1500, 2.1, 2.3, 3.5, 26) from Telekom Slovenia (EUR 52m), Telemach (EUR 52m), A1 (EUR 42m), T2 (EUR 18m)
    • Energistyrelsen (DK) raises DKK 2.08b from multiband auction (1.5, 2.1, 2.3, 3.5, 26 GHz); pops coverage demands 3.5 GHz band: 60% YE 2023, 75% YE 2025
      • TDC Net 45 MHz in 1,500 MHz band, 40 MHz in 2,100 MHz band, 40 MHz in 2,300 MHz band, 130 MHz in 3.5 GHz band, 1,250 MHz in 26 GHz band for DKK 795m
      • Hi3G 40 MHz in 2,100 MHz band, 120 MHz in 3.5 GHz band, 1,000 MHz in 26 GHz band for DKK 541m
      • TT-Network (Telia, Telenor) 45 MHz in 1,500 MHz band, 40 MHz in 2,100 MHz band, 140 MHz in 3.5 GHz band (incl 60 MHz with a leasing obligation), 600 MHz in 26 GHz band for DKK 741m
    • ACMA (Australia) raises AUD 648m from 26 GHz auction; Dense Air 2 lots for AUD 28.7m, Mobile JV 86 lots for AUD 108m, Optus Mobile 116 lots for AUD 226m, Pentanet 4 lots for AUD 7.90m, Telstra 150 lots for AUD 277m

  • Platforms
    • EC proposes harmonised rules on AI; list of high-risk use cases (critical infrastructure, college admissions, loan applications) subject to supervision and standards for development & use; fine on violations max 6% of annual global revenues; to be approved by European Council & European Parliament
    • US Senate antitrust hearing with Apple, Google over app store fees [monopoly rents]

Netflix: all the originals & licensing announcements of Week 16

Movies - scripted
  • Crime movie Ferry (Frank Lammers; NL) premieres 210514
  • Production of movie The Swimmers (Sally El Hosaini) starts, with Working Title
  • Orders movie Perusasion, after Jane Austen (Dakota Johnson)
  • Orders thriller movie Rebel Ridge (AnnaSophia Robb, Emory Cohen)
  • Movie Oxygen (France) premieres 210512
  • Movie Dancing Queens premieres 210603
Series - scripted

Thursday, April 22, 2021

Netflix 21Q1

  • net additions 21H1 slow due to pull forward and delayed slate dynamics plus typical seasonality
  • biggest competitors linear TV & YouTube
Targets 2021
Viewing stats first 28 days
  • series
    • Firefly Lane 49m
    • Cobla Kai season 3 45m
    • Fate: The Winx Saga 57m
    • Ginny & Georgia season 1 52m
  • movies
    • I Care A Lot 56m
    • YES DAY 62m
    • Outside the Wire 66m
    • To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before (final movie) 51m
  • foreign productions
    • Below Zero (Spain) 47m
    • Space Sweepers (S Korea) 26m
    • Squared Love (Poland) 31m
    • Who Killed Sara? (Mexico) 55m
    • Lupin (France) 76m

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Netflix: all the originals and licensing announcements of Week 15

Movies - scripted
  • Orders live-action movie Gundam
  • Orders Anna Karenina adaptation from Gazprom-Media, plans more orders from Russia
  • Zombie movie Army of the Dead (Zack Snyder) premieres 210521 & in select theaters
  • Dance of the 41 (Mexico) premieres 210512
  • Drama movie Fatma (Turkey) premieres 210427
  • Orders crime movie The Poet
  • Ordered vampire movie Day Shift (Jamie Foxx, Meagan Good, Karla Souza, Snoop Dogg)
  • Ordered movie Spaceman (Adam Sandler, Carey Mulligan)
Series - scripted
Series - unscripted
Movies - unscripted
Other: orders Spanish originals
    • 3 drama series (Intimidad, Baruca, Si lo hubiera sabido)
    • dating series Amor con fianza
    • reality series Georgina on Georgina Rodríguez
    • movie A través de mi ventana
    • romcom movie Eres Tu
    • season 2 (final) of series El Vecino premieres 210521

Monday, April 19, 2021

Week 15 in Telecoms, Internet, Media


  • Orange BE
  • Tele Columbus: EC approves takeover; accepted by 91.96%, to close 210419, then rights offering to raise EUR 475m
  • Eir (NJJ 33%, Iliad 32%) Report on poor customer service during corona virus pandemic due to remote working and outsourcing
  • Virgin Media UK (Liberty Global): CMA (UK) approves O2 UK merger, "unlikely to lead to any substantial lessening of competition in relation to the supply of wholesale services" (provisional, open for comments until 210507, final decision 210527)
  • Altice Europe (Patrick Drahi): Moody's: assigns B2 to sr secured notes ($3b) issued by Altice FR, outlook negative (high leverage, weak FCF generation); increases debt maturity from 5.5 to 5.9 yr, interest savings EUR 50m
  • Telstra: Rumor: considers merging Telstra International with PCCW Global (talks with PE firm I Squared Capital), Telstra to acquire PCCW Global
  • Amazon: Annual Report 2020, Letter to Shareholders, Proxy Statement; reaches 200m Prime subs worldwide; spent $11b (+41%) on content (movies, series, music) in 2020
  • Netflix: Moody's upgrades from Ba3 to Ba1, outlook positive
  • Clubhouse: Raises funds; rumor: at $4b valuation; 10m WAU
  • Squarespace: Plans IPO via direct listing; symbol SQSP
  • AppLovin: IPO, symbol APP, IPO price $80, opens at $70, closes $65.20 (-19%) on first trading day
  • Epic Games: Raises $1b (incl $200m from Sony), valuation $28.7b
  • Reservoir Media: Plans IPO via SPAC, with with Roth CH Acquisition Co II; 21Q3 on NYSE, symbol RSVR, EV $788m



  • Ookla Speedtest Global Index (March 2021)
    • Global average FBB 99/53 Mb/s, MBB 48/13 Mb/s
    • FBB: Singapore #1 (234), Thai #2 (231), HK #3 (225), RO #4 (211), Monaco #5 (205), NL #27 (137)
    • MBB: UAE #1 (179), S Korea #2 (171), Qatar #3 (167), China #4 (150), KSA #5 (134), NL #8 (103)
  • Tefficient mobile data usage report 2020 (ranking 105 MNOs)
    • Global mobile data volume +38%, Zain Kuwait #1 (40.2 GB/SIM/mo), DNA #2 (34.8), 3 Austria #3 (30.5); T-Mobile NL 6.0, VodafoneZiggo 3.4, KPN 3.1
    • "The bottom 11 operators are from the low usage markets of Greece (Vodafone), Czech Republic (TMobile), Belgium (Proximus, Orange, Telenet BASE), Germany (Telekom, O2, Vodafone) and the Netherlands (KPN and Vodafone Ziggo – but not T-Mobile)."
    • " the nine operators with the highest revenue per GB are from six European countries: Greece, Belgium, Norway, the Netherlands, Czech Republic and Switzerland."


  • Orange PL establishes open access FiberCo (Światłowód Inwestycje) 50/50 JV with APG
    • Orange PL anchor tenant
    • Valuation PLN 2.748b (debt-free, cash-free) = EUR 605m
    • Orange PL to receive PLN 1.374b = EUR 303m (PLN 887m on closing, PLN 487 on delivery during 2022-2026)
    • Orange PL contributes 0.7m lines, to add 1.7m lines in 5 yr in mid/low competition areas, capex PLN 3b (partly from new debt (>80%), equity contributions PLN 300m from each during 2023-2026); ultimately to own 2.4m lines
    • Will not be consolidated by Orange PL; Orange PL has option to acquire extra 1% + control between 2027 and 2029
    • To close end Aug 2021



  • AR: DNA plans 5G pilot at Hiukkavaara school in Oulu, with BusinessOulu, Educational & Cultural Services, City of Oulu, Oulun Digi, Hiukkavaara school, Playsign: to develop AR experiences for phenomenon-based learning
  • VR: BT plans 5G at Hyberbat (battery maker) factory to support VR-enabled digital twin, with Ericsson, NVIDIA, Qualcomm
  • 360 degrees video: Verizon launches TUDN Vision: portal for 360 degree watching of soccer games televised by Univision
  • Cloud gaming: Vodafone IT launches 5G cloud gaming platform GameNow
  • SA 5G: Vodafone DE launches SA 5G in 3.5 GHz band at 10 sites in 170 cities, with Ericsson, Qualcomm, OPPO; latency 10-15 ms
  • Bell Labs Consulting (Nokia) report The Big Inversion ("How 5G+ technologies will create new value for industries in a post-COVID world")
  • Private Wireless
    • Nokia and EY partner on Private Wireless, 3 key offerings: 1. fuelling digital change in manufacturing, energy, and operations across industries, including for governments and cities; 2. building cybersecurity and digital trust by protecting and managing challenges brought by IoT and IT/OT crossover; 3. helping telcos, specifically, to capture and monetize 5G business enterprise opportunities
    • DT acts as SI for Private 5G for Industry 4.0



Telco & other


  • Spotify
    • Launches Car Thing in US (smart player, limited release, invite-only), free for select Premium subs (excl shipping): voice control (“Hey Spotify”), dial, touch screen (4 inch), preset buttons, requires Bluetooth and smartphone; "Our focus remains on becoming the world’s number one audio platform—not on creating hardware—but we developed Car Thing because we saw a need from our users, many of whom were missing out on a seamless and personalized in-car listening experience."
    • Partners with Warner Music Group to develop podcasts around WMG's catalogs
  • Apple Music: WSJ: Apple Music pays 52% of subscription rev (0.01 $/stream) to rights holders [compare Spotify: 67% to rights holders o/w 75-80% to labels = 50-53; Spotify has more subscribers and has a free+ads tier]
  • Distr deal with Epix (= MGM): bundle 13 $/mo, exclusive access to music to series Godfather of Harlem 

  • Self Financial report based on IMDb ratings: Apple TV+ #1 (average score 7.24 or 7.13 on 70 titles), HBO Max 7.13 or 7.01, Netflix 6.94 (530 titles), Disney+ 6.63 (420 titles)
  • Morgan Stanley survey US: 39% say Netflix offers best originals, Amazon Prime 12%, Disney+ 7%, Hulu 7%, HBO Max 6%
  • Antenna & MoffettNathanson report on churn rates US 20Q4: Netflix 2.5%, Disney+ 4.3%, Apple TV+ 15.6%, HBO Max 6.7%, Peacock 9.5%
  • Plex: Reaches 25m MAU (r'red users who spent >= 10 minutes on Plex); >150 free channels, 20k free movies & episodes (from Lionsgate, Warner Bros, MGM, Sony Pictures Television, Sinclair Broadcast, AMC, A+E, Crackle, BBC); raises $50m


  • Amazon: WSJ: leverages dominance in one business to compel partners to accept terms from another
  • Twitter: Launches Responsible Machine Learning Initiative led by ML Ethics, Transparency and Accountability (META) team: assess downstream or current unintentional harms in the algorithms used
  • Platforms
    • US Senator Josh Hawley (R-Mo) proposes Trust-Busting for the Twenty-First Century Act: ban M&A for fimrs with market cap >$100b, replace antitrust issue of consumer harm by protection of competition, , empower FTC
    • EU plan for AI regulation leaked: to establish European Artificial Intelligence Board
    • US House of Representatives Judiciary Committee approves report on platforms (Google, Facebook, Amazon, Apple); "each hold monopoly power over significant sectors" [see 201006]

Monday, April 12, 2021

Netflix: all the originals and licensing announcements of Week 14

Movies - scripted
Series - scripted

Orange Poland establishes 50/50 open access FiberCo with APG

Orange PL establishes open access FiberCo (Światłowód Inwestycje)
Press release - report - presentation
  • 50/50 JV with APG
  • Orange PL anchor tenant
  • Valuation PLN 2.748b (debt-free, cash-free) = EUR 605m, Orange PL to receive PLN 1.374b = EUR 303m (PLN 887m on closing, PLN 487 on delivery during 2022-2026)
  • Orange PL contributes 0.7m lines, to add 1.7m lines in 5 yr in mid/low competition areas, ultimately to own 2.4m lines
  • Capex PLN 3b (partly from new debt (>80%), equity contributions PLN 300m from each during 2023-2026)
  • Will not be consolidated by Orange PL
  • Orange PL has option to acquire extra 1% + control between 2027 and 2029
  • To close end Aug 2021

Sunday, April 11, 2021

Week 14 in Telecoms, Internet, Media


  • KPN: WSJ: EQT & Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners plan offer, >3 EUR/share (>EUR 12.6b); preparing due diligence, offer spring 2021
  • Orange BE (Orange 53%)
    • Orange launches offer until 210423
    • Degroof Petercam expert opinion: DCF equity value per share EUR 18.5 = 4.7x EBITDA 2020 = 5.1x adj EBITDA 2020 = 12.0x FCF (EBITDA - capex) 2020 = 13.0x FCF (adj EBITDA - capex excl spectrum) 2020; CCA (comparable company analysis): equity value per share EUR 21.0 at midpoint based on EV/EBITDA, EUR 17.2 based on EV/FCF (overall midpoint EUR 19.2)
  • Iliad: Acquires 12% of Unieuro (retailer Italy) - Rumor: to launch fixed-line services in IT within weeks
  • PPF: Considers European acquisitions in telecoms & media
  • Virgin Media UK (Liberty Global): Plans GBP 10b investments in 5 yr for 5G & FTTP expansion (1.14 Gb/s); to add 1m fixed (FTTP) HP by YE 2021 to total 16m if merger approved (CMA to rule May 2021), to add 7m long-term fixed-line addresses if merger approved; could add wholesale services
  • HMD Global (Nokia branded smartphone manufacturer) plans MVNO HMD Mobile in UK on EE (BT); from 6.50 GBP/mo for unlimited calls/texts + 1 GB data
  • Microsoft: Rumor: plans offer for Nuance (speech-recognition tech; 7100 employees), 56 $/share = $16b (23% premium) 
  • Twitter: Co-invests in ShareChat (social media, short video; India, 160m MAU), $502m with Snap, others at $2.1b valuation
  • Box: Raises $500m equity from KKR via convertible & SBB (current equivalent 14%)
  • Patreon: Raises $155m at $4b valuation



  • T-Mobile NL (DT 75%, Tele2 25%)
    • partners with ODF (Open Dutch Fiber; = KKR Global Infrastructure Investors Funds majority, DTCP Infra (DT Capital Partners) rest): to roll out OA FTTH (1-10 Gb/s, passive only) in urban & high dense areas; to avoid uneconomical overbuild; ODF to be led by founders Jordi Nieuwenhuis (Reggefiber co-founder) & Uwe Nickl (formerly Deutsche Glasfaser co-CEOs), Michael Griffioen CEO
    • to launch 21Q2, fully funded, construction agreements in place, to invest >= EUR 700m (capex) for >= 1m lines in 5 yr
    • T-Mobile NL anchor tenant with own active layer; 


  • T-Mobile US launches Home Internet (FWA over 5G or 4G, un-carrier move): 65 $/mo (60 with autopay); coverage 30m HH (o/w/ 10m rural), 50-100 Mb/s, possible throttling during peak hours - To hire 2500 hometown experts for T-Mobile Hometown retail stores
  • Ucell (Uzbekistan) launches 5G in Tashkent


General data usage: AMS-IX New traffic peak 210407: 10.012 Tb/s



Web services

  • Facebook: Trials Hotline (developed by NPE Team, public beta, led by Eric Hazzard of former tbh [see 171016]): Q&A with creators, audio-only or video [a la Clubhouse & Instagram Live]
  • Reddit: Trials moderator-run voice chats [a la Clubhouse]



  • Google
    • Noyb (Max Schrems) files complaint at CNIL (France) over user tracking in Android (using Android Advertising ID (AAID)) violating EU privacy law (ePrivacy Directive), urges investigation
    • Filing in antitrust case led by Texas
      • Google operated program (Project Bernanke) giving its own ad-buying system an advantage over competitors, amounts to insider trading [Google operates exchange, represents buyers & sellers and acts as ad buyer for Search, YouTube]
      • commercial deal with Facebook (Jedi Blue, required Facebook to spend >= $500m in Google’s Ad Manager or AdMob auctions in year 4 of the agreement) enabled Facebook to identify 80% of mobile users & 60% of desktop users (excl users of Apple’s Safari web browser) in ad auctions 
  • Platforms

Sunday, April 04, 2021

Week 13 in Telecoms, Internet, Media


  • Syn (Iceland, brand Vodafone): Tower sale & lease-back with anon investors; sells 49.9% stake in Faroese associate P/F (Tjaldur 50.1%; brand Hey), DKK 52.5m, maintains service agreement
  • MasMovil (KKR, Cinven, Providence): Moody's places B1 rating on review for downgrade on debt-financed acquisition of Euskaltel
  • Euskaltel: Moody's places B1 rating on review for downgrade on MasMovil offer (10x EV/EBITDA pre-synergies) (debt-financed acquisition of the company will likely result in weaker credit metrics for the combined entity, including leverage rising initially to over 6.0x)
  • Digi: Sells Digi Hungary (incl Invitel, I TV) to 4iG [on exclusion from 5G auction]
  • KPN: HEMA to end MVNO sales 210501, prepaid refers to KPN, to shut down 220501
  • Cellnex: To raise EUR 7b equity
  • Telenet (Liberty Global): Acquires 49% stake in Caviar Group (prodco)
  • M6 (RTL): Rumor: TF1, Vivendi, Xavier Niel, Mediawan, KKR, Matthieu Pigasse & Pierre-Antoine Capton, Daniel Křetínský (also Mediaset, NRJ, Altice Europe) interested
  • Music
  • Accenture: Acquires Cygni (IT)
  • Deliveroo (Amazon) IPO price set at GBP 3.90 [see 210308]; first trade 331p, closes at 287p
  • Funding


  • General
    • OECD publishes new Going Digital toolkit (based on access, use, innovation, jobs, society, trust, market openness); Netherlands score on access penetrations: broadband 93, M2M 21, mobile broadband 67, HH broadband acceess 98, business broadband speed >30 Mb/s 86, 4G broadband coverage 99, urban/rural broadband divide 100
    • US White House proposes $100b for universal broadband access by 2030 (as part of $2.25t Infrastructure & Tax Proposal (The American Jobs Plan); to raise corporate tax from 21 to 28%, tax on overseas profits from 13 to 21%) [focus on cheap munifiber]
  • FTTH
    • Germany
    • UK: Virgin Media UK (Liberty Global) trials use of Openreach ducts & poles for FTTP expansion (first in Swadlincote)
    • Italy: FiberCop (TIM 58%, KKR 37.5%, Fastweb 4.5%) starts operations as carrier-neutral OA wholesale operator; targets positive FCF (EBITDA - capex) by 2025, will not require capital injections; current pops coverage (FTTC + FTTH) 90%; targets 76% black/grey area MDUs (= 56% nationwide units coverage) by 2025 
  • 5G


  • NBCUnivcersal (Comcast): Rumor: considers pulling movies from competitors (Netflix, HBO Max: movies 9 mo after theatrical release) to add to Peacock after theatrical & TVOD windows
  • Lionsgate: Sells 75% Pantaya stake to Hemisphere, $124m cash [see 170801]
  • T-Mobile US expands Google partnership: to resell YouTube TV (replacing TVision, closing 210429), Messages by Google as default RCS on Android smartphones; to offer Pixel smartphones; promoting Google One (backup & storage); 5G covers 287m pops, 1.6m miles^2
  • Telekom DE partners with Hamburg for citywide EV-charging for taxis (Project Future Taxi)
  • Google (Alphabet): Starts trialing FLoC cookie alternative in Chrome browser [see 210303]
  • Pinterest: Rumor: to acquire VSCO (photo app; total raised $90m, last at $550m valuation)
  • Facebook: Instagram launches Remix on Reels: record video alongside video from other user [a la TikTok Duets]
  • Audio


  • Platforms
    • Letter from 40 European SME tech companies to EU MEPs on DMA (gatekeepers [see 201215]): propose stronger ex ante interoperability requirement (as in DSA) for dominant gatekeeper firms; interoperability reduces anti-competitive barriers created by lock-in of established user bases
  • Facebook
    • Nick Clegg (VP Global Affairs): "In the long run, people are only going to feel comfortable with these algorithmic systems if they have more visibility into how they work and then have the ability to exercise more informed control over them."; "Facebook demotes clickbait (headlines that are misleading or exaggerated), highly sensational health claims (like those promoting “miracle cures”), and engagement bait (posts that explicitly seek to get users to engage with them)."; "You should be able to better understand how the ranking algorithms work and why they make particular decisions, and you should have more control over the content that is shown to you. You should be able to talk back to the algorithm and consciously adjust or ignore the predictions it makes — to alter your personal algorithm in the cold light of day, through breathing spaces built into the design of the platform."
    • Launches features (in Android & iOS): Most Recent timeline (chronological display), Favorites timeline, turn of political ads, snooze specific pages or persons

Apple TV+: all the originals and licensing announcements of March

  • Orders anthology series Roar (Nicole Kidman, Cynthia Erivo, Merritt Wever, Alison Brie)
  • Series Calls (9 episodes) premieres 210319
  • Orders live action series based on Korean webtoon Dr Brain
  • Orders drama series In With the Devil (Ray Liotta; 6 episodes)
  • Orders season 3 of Central Park (animated comedy series)
  • Orders series Lady in the Lake (Natalie Portman, Lupita Nyong’o)
  • Orders docu series The Jet
  • Orders drama series Essex Serpent (Tom Hiddleston, Claire Danes)
  • Ordered WWII series Masters of the Air (Steven Spielberg, Tom Hanks, Anthony Boyle)
  • Orders unnamed comedy series (Alan Yang, Matt Hubbard, Maya Rudolph)
  • Orders series Five Days at Memorial (about Hurricane Katrina; Hurricane Katrina)
  • Orders season 3 of Trying, season 2 (8 episodes) premieres 210514
  • Orders movie The Greatest Beer Run Ever (Peter Farrelly, Zac Efron, Russell Crowe, Bill Murray)
  • Play 12 Angry Men … And Women; The Weight of the Wait (recorded in Stev Jobs Theater) free to watch 210326-210422
First-look deals