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Eurobites: Vivendi Chief Adds Top Job at Telecom Italia

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Telefónica trumps The Donald on climate change commitment; MegaFon rides the rails; Elisa joins Tampere smart city project; Google fine imminent?

  • Telecom Italia (TIM) is looking increasingly French, with the widely anticipated appointment of Vivendi 's CEO, Arnaud de Puyfontaine, as the Italian incumbent's executive chairman being confirmed in this press release. On Monday Vivendi received European Commission approval for it holding large stakes in both Telecom Italia and Mediaset S.p.A. , the Italian broadcaster, though it is waiting to hear the views of the Italian regulator on the matter. (See Vivendi coup of Telecom Italia complete as Chairman replaced, Eurobites: EU Gives Vivendi OK on Telecom Italia Takeover, Eurobites: Vivendi Tightens Its Grip on Telecom Italia and Vivendi CEO Eyes Chairman Job at Telecom Italia.)

  • While President Trump appalls business leaders, scientists and, erm, most sensible people worldwide with his decision to exit the Paris Agreement on climate change, Telefónica has signposted its commitment to renewables by joining RE100, a global initiative aiming to use 100% renewable electricity. Forty-four percent of Telefónica's electricity consumption is already renewable, up from 21% a year ago. (See Telefónica Doubles Reliance on Renewable Electricity.)

  • MegaFon has signed an agreement with Russian Railways to develop mobile services and IoT projects. The hope is that mobile coverage and wireless Internet access will eventually embrace the entire rail network, and that IoT technology will collect and transmit information about the rail infrastructure without the need for human intervention.

  • Following hard on the heels of Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK), Elisa Corp. has joined the Smart Tampere project, an initiative aiming to develop a "smart ecosystem" for the Finnish city best known for being Nokia's birthplace. Elisa says that the first phase of the project will see it build fiber and mobile networks in the city as the "basis for the future 5G network."

  • The long-running battle between the EU antitrust regulators and Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) over how the search giant promotes its own online "shopping service" in its search listings may be about to come to a head, according to a Reuters report. Sources have told Reuters that the regulators plan to impose a large fine -- potentially up to 10% of global turnover -- on Google before Europe stops for the summer break in August.

  • As threatened last month, Telia is to drop Discovery's channels on its TV service in Sweden, after failing to reach an agreement with European broadcaster SBS, which sells channel packages to the Nordic operator.

  • UK mobile operator EE says it has tripled mobile capacity in Cardiff city center in preparation for the UEFA Champions League soccer final, which takes place at the National Stadium there tomorrow. Part of the upgrade saw the building of what the operator claims is the UK's most powerful mobile site, which makes use of parent BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA)'s 10 Gigabit Ethernet technology.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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