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Eurobites: Vivendi Fights Back After Italian Rebuff

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Ericsson virtualizes video processing; Swisscom promotes mobile multi-tasking; OBS goes into the fitting room.

  • French media conglomerate Vivendi is threatening to take legal action against the Italian telecom regulator after it ruled that Vivendi's stake-building in both Telecom Italia (TIM) and Mediaset S.p.A. breached Italy's antitrust laws, the Financial Times reports (subscription required). Vivendi is the biggest stakeholder in Telecom Italia, holding a 24% chunk of the operator, and earlier this month put its CEO, Arnaud de Puyfontaine, at the top of a list of candidates for Telecom Italia's board, suggesting to some observers that it wanted Puyfontaine to replace Giuseppe Recchi as the Italian operator's chairman. (See Vivendi CEO Eyes Chairman Job at Telecom Italia.)

  • Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) has unveiled what it describes as a "fully virtualized" video processing platform, comprising the MediaFirst Management Controller and MediaFirst Encoding Live 8.1. According to the vendor, the platform simplifies operations for content owners by facilitating the move to full-on virtualization across the media processing delivery chain. That's a feature that prospective bidders for Ericsson's media assets might find interesting... (See Ericsson Tightens Focus, Warns of $1.7B Q1 Hit.)

  • As part of a new marketing campaign, Swisscom AG (NYSE: SCM) is offering customers the opportunity to use the same mobile line on multiple devices simultaneously. As part of its inOne quad-play package (fixed line, mobile, broadband, TV), Swisscom includes a "Multi Device" option, which it describes thus:

      It lets subscribers use their mobile line on up to three devices at the same time with the same phone number, on a combination of smartphones, tablets or smartwatches with SIM cards, for instance. All three devices remain online always everywhere. Calls ring out on all devices – customers can take them on any device they like. They can also make calls while surfing on a tablet with their smartwatch still connected to the Internet. Multi Device sets Swisscom apart from the crowd as comparable products do not support same-time use. Swisscom also takes an innovative approach to setup: once inserted, the SIM card automatically launches the activation dialogue in the browser and seconds later the second or third device is online.

    Swisscom doesn't mention if this is safe to do whilst operating heavy machinery.

  • Suit you sir! Orange Business Services is to supply "immersive" video conferencing technology to Russian fashion company Melon to power a new "virtual fitting room," which will in theory allow its designers to collaborate more productively with its manufacturing teams scattered across the globe.

  • Members of the European Parliament are considering new rules intended to give users better control of their data privacy settings in general, and the use of "cookies" in particular. The European Commission hopes to adopt the new privacy rules by May 2018, which is when the EU's new general data protection legislation comes into force. In January the Commission proposed that EU privacy standards for electronic communications should apply not only to traditional telcos but also to providers of over-the-top services such as WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Skype and Gmail.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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