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Eurobites: EU Gives Blessing to Fox-Sky Deal

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: major data breach at payday loans company; MTS trumpets onlines sales success; Nokia does IoT research Down Under.

  • The European Commission has given 21st Century Fox 's proposed takeover of pay-TV giant Sky its unconditional approval, concluding that the transaction would raise no competition concerns in Europe. The Commission's reasoning was that the two companies only compete with each other currently to a "limited extent," and that the proposed deal would lead to only a slight increase in Sky's existing share of the markets for the acquisition of TV content as well as in the market for the wholesale supply of TV channels in the relevant member states -- namely the UK, Germany, Italy, Ireland and Austria. In the UK, the proposed deal has been the target of strong criticism on plurality grounds, with many believing it will give 21st Century Fox boss Rupert Murdoch too much control of the UK media. Murdoch already owns several UK newspapers, including The Sun, Britain's biggest-selling "red top."

  • What sounds like another major data breach has struck a European company over the weekend: This time it's the turn of "payday loans" company Wonga. According to the BBC, the breach may have affected up to 245,000 customers in the UK and a further 25,000 customers in Poland, with names, addresses, phone numbers, bank account numbers and sort codes among the items of data stolen. Wonga has started informing customers by email and text.

  • When it comes to online sales, Russia's Mobile TeleSystems OJSC (MTS) (NYSE: MBT) is ahead of the pack, according to research from Data Insight. The research agency ranked the various Russian operators on several parameters, including website visits, conversion of site visits to actual orders and the average bill size. Online sales at MTS reach 5.2 billion rubles (US$90.9 million) in 2016, a rise of 41% on the previous year, according to the operator. (See Russia's MTS to 'Sacrifice' Connectivity in Software Rebirth.)

  • Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) has signed a collaboration agreement with Australia's University of Sydney, under the terms of which the pair will work together on developing IoT-based business applications, with the vendor supplying IP routing, optical, fixed, 4G and 5G wireless technologoies, as well as applications and analytics platforms.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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