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Eurobites: Police Raid Vivendi's Paris Office

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Colt expands Asia-Pacific network with Ciena; Telefónica integrates security features with Microsoft Azure; Ofcom clamps down on broadband ads.

  • French media conglomerate Vivendi has confirmed to the Financial Times (subscription required) that police have raided its Paris offices in the wake of a complaint made by the Berlusconi Group regarding Vivendi's acquisition of a stake in Mediaset S.p.A. , Italy's main commercial broadcaster. Vivendi is ruffling feathers a-plenty in Italy at the moment, as it increases its influence over both Mediaset and incumbent operator Telecom Italia (TIM) . Just last month Vivendi got its man Amos Genish appointed CEO of TIM, though he had effectively been running the show since Flavio Cattaneo left in July. (See Telecom Italia Drama: What Is Vivendi Up To? and Vivendi Man Genish Formally Named Telecom Italia CEO.)

  • Colt Technology Services Group Ltd , the UK-based network services provider, is expanding its Asia-Pacific network with the deployment of Ciena Corp. (NYSE: CIEN) 's 6500 Converged Packet Optical Platform, which, says the vendor, is capable of delivering 100Gbit/s and 200Gbit/s services.

  • Telefónica has integrated its SealSign digital signature platform with Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) 's Azure Key Vault, an online safe-storage facility for passwords and digital signatures. The announcement was one of several made by the operator at its Security Innovation Day on Thursday -- see this release for more details.

  • UK regulator Ofcom is having another dig at the thorny old issue of broadband advertising, and in particular the often unrealistic and downright misleading promises made for potential download speeds. Ofcom wants to revise its existing Codes of Practice, forcing providers to offer customers an estimated range of speeds they are likely to receive in the real world, as well as the right to exit their contracts without incurring a penalty if their speed of service falls below a minimum level. It also wants companies to give more of an indication of the slower speeds customers are likely to receive at peak times.

    This is the sort of information that Ofcom would like to see presented to potential broadband customers before they sign on the dotted line.
    This is the sort of information that Ofcom would like to see presented to potential broadband customers before they sign on the dotted line.

  • EE , the UK mobile operator that is part of BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA), has signed a renewable energy deal with utility company npower. Under the terms of the five-year deal, npower will supply EE with 680 gigawatts of electricity from renewable sources such as wind farms and solar plants. BT is hoping to buy 100% renewable electricity for its operations by 2020, "where markets allow."

  • The Welsh government is considering reducing business rates levied on mobile operators' infrastructure in a bid to encourage said operators to invest more in their networks and thereby expand coverage. As the BBC reports, the relaxation of planning restrictions, allowing for taller masts, is also up for discussion.

  • Sky , the UK-based pay-TV operator, is adding a voice-control feature to its high-end Sky Q set-top box, allowing viewers to manage their viewing via the deployment of such phrases as "change channel to Sky Atlantic" or "what is this over-produced American rubbish -- is there anything else on?"

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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