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Eurobites: Italy slaps Google with €102M fine for Android antics

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: UK soccer rights rolled over; Safaricom pinched by pandemic; BT makes progress in carbon-cutting.

  • Google's refusal to allow Enel X's JuicePass electric vehicle app onto its Android Auto platform is one of the factors that has led Italy's competition watchdog to fine the search giant €102 million (US$123 million) for abuse of its dominant market position. As Reuters reports, the JuicePass app, from the "e-solutions" division of Italian utility company Enel, has been prevented from operating on Android Auto for the last two years. This, said the watchdog, could stop Enel X building a viable user base and ultimately hamper the spread of electric vehicles in Italy.

  • Time was when selling the TV rights to the UK's soccer Premier League was, for the League's governing body, more or less a license to print money. Not anymore. The Premier League has agreed to roll over its existing TV rights deal with Sky Sports, BT, Amazon and BBC Sport for a further three years, running from 2022 to 2025 – and that £4.7 billion deal itself, agreed in 2018, represented a 10% fall in value on the previous deal, according to the BBC. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Premier League says that it was able to demonstrate to the UK government "exceptional and compelling reasons" why the normal broadcast rights tendering process could be waived this time around. (See Eurobites: Amazon Scores English Premier League Soccer Rights.)

  • Kenya's Safaricom saw its full-year earnings before interest and tax decline 5.3%, to 96.16 billion Kenyan shillings ($897 million), on service revenue that contracted by 0.3%, to KES250.35 billion ($2.33 billion). During this pandemic-hit period, Safaricom decided to waive fees for M-Pesa mobile money transactions of below KES1,000 ($9.33).

  • BT is tooting its sustainability trumpet, announcing that it has reduced the "carbon emissions intensity" of its operations by a further 14% over the last 12 months. According to the operator, this means it has achieved an overall reduction of 57% since 2016/2017 and puts it on track to reduce its overall carbon emissions by 87% by 2031. During its most recent financial year, BT completed the switch to using 99.9% renewable electricity worldwide.

  • Ireland-based Aqua Comms and Sweden's Telia Carrier say they have successfully completed a 400GbE trial with Ciena between New York and Frankfurt. The trial follows the announcement that Aqua Comms upgraded its two transatlantic subsea cable routes – America Europe Connect-1 (AEC-1) and America Europe Connect-2 (AEC-2) – with Ciena's GeoMesh Extreme submarine network solution, which uses WaveLogic 5 Extreme coherent optical technology.

  • The European Union's General Court has overturned an earlier ruling by the European Commission that Amazon had pay Luxembourg €250 million (£215 million) in back taxes. As the BBC reports, the court found that, contrary to the Commission's view, the online giant had not been given special treatment by the tiny European country.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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