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Eurobites: Has French Netflix challenge run out of road?

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Deutsche Telekom and Telefónica go roaming on the edge; it's showtime for SkyShowtime; Iskratel merges with S&T Slovenija.

  • A merger between two French TV companies that has been widely interpreted as a response to the challenge posed by streaming services such as Netflix is looking increasingly in doubt, according to a Bloomberg report. Representatives of the two companies involved, Television Francaise 1 SA and Groupe M6, are due to defend their proposals this week in front of the French competition authority, which has already raised advertising-related concerns about the deal. A final decision is due by October 17.

  • Deutsche Telekom and Telefónica say they have successfully implemented a proof-of-concept (PoC) demonstration of a low-latency data roaming connection between Germany and Spain. The PoC centered on a holographic communication "use case" and exploited an edge computing set-up called a "data roaming regional breakout instance" to which the German roamer in Spain is attached instead of the traditional attachment to the data roaming gateway in Germany.

  • SkyShowtime, a joint streaming service venture between Comcast and Paramount Global, is to launch on September 20 in Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden before expanding to the Netherlands later this year and into Spain, Portugal and Central & Eastern Europe (CEE) in the first quarter of 2023. The service, powered by the Peacock platform, will feature exclusive television premieres of first-run films from Paramount Pictures and Universal Pictures, amongst other content. It will be available direct-to-consumer via the SkyShowtime app across Apple iOS, tvOS, Android devices and through the website www.skyshowtime.com.

  • Slovenia-based Iskratel has merged with S&T Slovenija to form S&T Iskratel. The new company, which forms part of Austria's Kontron group, will be led by two managing directors, Sašo Berger and Robert Kuzmič.

  • UK converged operator Virgin Media O2 is offering its customers a Wi-Fi guarantee, promising them minimum download speeds of 20 Mbit/s in every room of their home or £100 credit back. The guarantee is included at no extra cost for those on Gig1 and Volt bundles, though customers on M50 to M500 Fibre packages (without Volt) will have to fork out £8 a month for it. Initially, customers whose broadband is limping along at speeds of less than 20 Mbit/s will be offered up to three mesh Wi-Fi "pods" to help speed things up, but if that doesn't work the £100 payment is theirs.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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