Eurobites: Altice Pursues Molotov for Improved Content Cocktail

Also in today's EMEA regonal roundup: Swisscom Blockchain loses CEO; KPN numbers slip in Q4; Huawei's UK board feels the heat.

  • Altice is in talks to acquire a majority stake in Molotov, a French OTT video streaming service, according to a TechCrunch report. Altice will acquire 60% of Molotov, says the report, though what it will pay for the stake has not been disclosed.

  • Daniel Haudenschild, erstwhile CEO of Swisscom Blockchain, is leaving the company with immediate effect. He will be replaced on an interim basis by Roger Wüthrich-Hasenböhler, the current chief digital officer and head of digital business at parent company Swisscom AG (NYSE: SCM). Swisscom Blockchain was founded in 2017 to offer consulting and services related to the brain-bending banking technology. No reason has been given for Haudenschild's departure.

  • KPN Telecom NV (NYSE: KPN)'s fourth-quarter revenues slipped 1.1% year-on-year to €1.43 billion (US$1.63 billion), while EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization) was also down, by 0.2% to €530 million ($606 million). According to a statement, growth in bundled services was offset by a decline in "legacy services" and ongoing fierce competition in the mobile sector. KPN's EBITDA outlook for 2019 remains in line with 2018, while it predicts organic growth for the period 2019-2021.

  • Members of Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd 's UK board, including former BP Chief Executive Lord Browne, are coming under pressure to reconsider their ties to the beleaguered Chinese equipment vendor, the Daily Telegraph reports. Labour MP Chris Bryant said: "Given the very substantial concerns about the way the Chinese State uses Huawei for dubious covert practices, I would urge anyone who is committed to open commercial practices and is involved in Huawei to consider their position."

  • French communications regulator Arcep has come down on the side of Coriolis Telecom in a dispute between the broadband provider and network operator THD Bretagne. Arcep has ruled that THD Bretagne must provide Coriolis with a wholesale "active access" solution for FTTH lines within four months.

  • Sports content provider Eleven Sports is giving up its rights to show live soccer from Italy's Serie A in the UK and Ireland, the Independent reports. Those rights are moving to Premier Sports, but Eleven Sports will retain exclusive coverage of live soccer from Spain's La Liga until at least the end of the current season.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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