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Eurobites: Altice Peps Up Its Portuguese Content Offer

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Vodafone eyes German ISP; Telia flags up profit warning; Ericsson in distribution deal with QYOU; Dixons Carphone hangs up on Spain.

  • The trend for network operators to buy content producers continues with Altice , the acquisitive player that has its roots in France but is now officially based in the Netherlands, agreeing to buy Portuguese group Media Capital for €440 million (US$502 million). Media Capital, which owns content producer Plural, recorded revenues of €174 million ($198.6 million) and EBITDA of €41.5 million ($47.3 million). According to a statement, the acquisition "forms part of Altice's global convergence strategy" and it follows similar moves in France, the US and Israel. Yesterday it was reported that Altice was also moving into banking, thereby stealing a march on French rival Orange. (See Altice Puts Squeeze on Orange With Bank Move – Report.)

  • Vodafone Group plc (NYSE: VOD) is lining up the acquisition of German ISP Deutsche Glasfaser for an unknown sum, according to a report in German IT publication Golem.de. Citing a source with knowledge of the plans, Vodafone believes that adding Deutsche Glasfaser to its existing German operations will strengthen its competitive position against Deutsche Telekom in the fixed broadband market. In Germany, Vodafone currently owns Kabel Deutschland GmbH in addition to operating in the mobile services market. Deutsche Glasfaser, which is majority owned by private equity house KKR, is building an FTTH network in multiple suburban and rural locations across the country, has already invested more than €200 million in its network and plans to connect 400,000 households by the end of 2018. This week it launched a gigabit broadband service for residential users.

  • Trouble in central Asian markets is being partly blamed by Nordic operator Telia for an anticipated 1.2 billion Swedish kronor ($144 million) hit on second-quarter earnings, Reuters reports. The operator is intending to focus on its Nordic and Baltic operations from here on in, having been rocked by the backwash from alleged corruption relating to its central Asian divisions in recent years.

  • Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) has entered into a distribution agreement with QYOU Media, which the vendor describes as a "curator of premium 'best-of-web' video for multiscreen delivery" (be afraid). The deal brings QYOU content to the Ericsson Unified Delivery Network, the hope being that this will help reach those elusive but important (in advertising terms) millennials via connected TVs and set-top boxes.

  • Having already abandoned its US retail joint venture with Sprint earlier this year, UK mobile phone seller Dixons Carphone has sold its Spanish business -- which embraces The Phone House of Spain, Smarthouse and Connected World Services Europe -- to Bilbao-based Global Dominion Access for €62.8 million.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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