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Eurobites: Vivendi Now Controls Telecom Italia, Says Watchdog

Paul Rainford

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Telefónica Business Solutions offers software-based security; Ericsson lands metadata gig with DNA; BT's bandwidth on demand.

  • French conglomerate Vivendi has taken de facto control of Telecom Italia (TIM) -- that's the verdict of Consob, Italy's markets watchdog. As Reuters reports, Vivendi currently owns 24% of TIM and its influence on the Italian incumbent has been steadily increasing. In a statement, TIM questions the judgement, and says it will take "all appropriate legal actions in order to defend its interests." In July, Flavio Cattaneo quit as CEO of TIM in a move that was widely interpreted as being the result of pressure from Vivendi, who were unhappy with his dealings with the Italian government over a state-backed broadband scheme. (See Cattaneo Quits as Telecom Italia CEO, Gets €25M and Telecom Italia in Broadband Clash With Govt – Reports.)

  • Telefónica Business Solutions has launched a software-based security service called, sweetly, Clean Pipes 2.0. The service has been jointly designed by ElevenPaths, Telefónica 's cybersecurity unit, and US-based Palo Alto Networks Inc. Clean Pipes 2.0 will be delivered to customers via Telefónica Business Solutions' virtual network infrastructure. Here's a jaunty little video about it:

  • DNA Oy , the Finnish cable operator, has signed a "content discovery services" contract with Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC), under the terms of which Ericsson will provide editorial services and rich metadata for more than 150 TV channels in Finnish, English and Swedish from DNA's cable network, the Finnish digital-terrestrial network and over broadband.

  • UK incumbent BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) has launched "Bandwith on demand," a new service which, as the name suggests, allows BT enterprise customers to increase bandwidth in real time when needed, for the period they require. Bandwidth on demand forms part of BT IP Connect Global, the operator's wide-area networking (WAN) service, which is available in 198 countries and territories.

  • The German soccer league has chosen Switzerland's Nagra to provide it with anti-piracy services to combat illegal live IPTV streaming of organization's Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 games for the 2017-18 season. Nagra is part of the Kudelski Group .

  • The UK government has confirmed that it will refer 21st Century Fox 's proposed takeover of Sky (NYSE, London: SKY) to the Competition and Markets Authority, to be examined, as the BBC reports, on the grounds of "media plurality and genuine commitment to broadcasting standards." Sky has issued a muted response to the decision, saying only that it will "will continue to engage constructively in this process."

  • Belgium's Proximus has landed a smart metering deal with Antargaz, a gas supplier to the Benelux countries. Proxumus will use its LoRa network and draw on the expertise of SilentSoft, a specialist in the remote monitoring of energy consumption. LoRa uses unlicensed spectrum to connect devices, and is a rival to alternative IoT technologies being championed by Sigfox and others.

  • The European Union has issued draft guidelines which, if implemented, could force the likes of Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) and Facebook to do more to remove illegal content from their platforms. As Reuters reports, the guidelines are due to be published at the end of the month but legislation could come into force by spring 2018.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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