<< Previous PostNext Post >> By: The Canadian Press OTTAWA — Airbnb is asking the Trudeau Liberals to create a regulatory regime for the burgeoning industry – something its critics have long advocated and raising pressure on the government to set rules in the market.Airbnb’s budget proposal to the House of Commons finance committee asks the federal Liberals to avoid forcing “old and outdated rules” for traditional hotels onto Airbnb hosts, pushing instead for a simple-to-understand regime.In its five-page submission, the company bluntly says: “We want to be regulated” – a step beyond last year’s request for the government to apply a “light” regulatory touch.“We think as a platform our hosts should pay taxes. I know people get shocked when we say that, but we do. We think we should be contributing,” said Alex Dagg, Airbnb’s public policy manager in Canada.“We just need to figure out what are the appropriate rules in place to do that and how can we facilitate that.”The submission leaves the Liberals with mounting requests and offers from online service providers themselves to set some regulations around their work, including applying sales taxes, all of which the government has thus far shied away from.More news: Virgin Voyages de-activates Quebec accounts at FirstMates agent portalQuebec, British Columbia and a handful of cities have enacted rules and struck deals to get tax revenues from bookings on Airbnb, which is one of the few services of its kind to negotiate tax agreements with Canadian governments. Quebec’s deal netted the province about $2.8 million over the first six months of the tax agreement.In April, a Liberal-dominated Commons committee urged Ottawa to make online service providers based outside the country collect and remit sales taxes as part of a series of recommendations to help Canada’s small businesses compete online.Federal officials have told groups that they are looking at how to tax and regulate online service providers, but don’t seem to have a clear idea of how to do it.The Hotel Association of Canada (HAC) says the Liberals should require online businesses to also hand over detailed information on all home-renting activity so tax authorities have a list of all short-term rental hosts and can force those with high earnings to pay taxes like hotel chains.More news: Canada raises travel warning amid escalating protests in Hong KongThe industry group argued it wasn’t interested in targeting the casual home owner who rents out a room or unit for a few nights a year, instead putting a bull’s-eye on hosts who rent out multiple homes or units for months on end as part of a larger commercial operation.“We are not against Airbnb and we’re not against the competition. Competition is, in fact, a good thing. What we’re looking for here is fairness and a level playing field,” says Alana Baker, the association’s director of government relations.Airbnb says there are some 80,000 people who offer places to rent in Canada, and they earn on average about $5,500 annually. Tags: Airbnb, Regulation Say what? Airbnb tells federal government, ‘We want to be regulated’ Friday, August 17, 2018 Share
LA PAZ, Bolivia – Bolivian President Evo Morales on Wednesday announced the expulsion of USAID from Bolivia, accusing the U.S. development agency of meddling in the country’s internal affairs in a new souring of often-tense relations.The United States quickly dismissed the allegations as baseless, and said Bolivia’s action showed it did not want good ties with Washington.In a fiery speech to workers on May Day, the leftist president of South America’s poorest country said the U.S. Agency for International Development was in Bolivia “for political purposes, not social ones.”“No more USAID, which manipulates and uses our leaders,” Morales said in the address in La Paz’s Plaza de Armas.He did not explain why he felt the U.S. agency was interfering in Bolivian affairs. USAID has operated in the Andean nation since 1964.Morales, a populist and Bolivia’s first indigenous president, has been in power since 2006 and has followed a sometimes nationalist agenda hostile to Western governments and companies.In 2008, he expelled the U.S. ambassador and agents of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, accusing them of meddling in Bolivia’s internal affairs. Bolivia is a major producer of coca leaves, the raw material of cocaine.The United States responded by expelling the Bolivian ambassador and ending trade privileges that it had granted the country.After a long period of frosty ties, the two countries in 2011 signed a framework agreement to normalize relations and exchange ambassadors again, but tensions remained.U.S. State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell said Wednesday that all USAID had done in Bolivia was try to improve the standard of living there, adding that Washington deeply regrets Bolivia’s decision.“We deny the baseless allegations made by the Bolivian government,” he said.After five years of efforts to normalize relations after the 2008 crisis, he said, “this action is a further demonstration that the Bolivian government is not interested in that vision.”“What is most regrettable is that those who will be most hurt by the Bolivian government’s decision are the Bolivian citizens who have benefited from our collaborative work on education, agriculture, health, alternative development, and the environment,” Ventrell added.The new U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry had encouraged improved relations with Bolivia.But bilateral ties suffered another blow recently when Morales said the United States was conspiring against the new government that assumed power in Venezuela after the death of his ally Hugo Chávez.And in early April, the U.S.s announced it was ending the financial and logistical support it had given to Bolivia’s struggle against drug traffickers, although it did donate several aircraft.In his speech Wednesday, Morales said Bolivia was offended by Kerry’s recent comments to the effect that Latin America was the United States’ backyard.The United States, he said, “probably thinks that here it can still manipulate politically and economically. That is a thing of the past.”Morales instructed Foreign Minister David Choquehuanca to inform the U.S. Embassy of the expulsion of USAID, “that tool which still has a mentality of domination.”USAID has worked to help Bolivia improve its health care system and also runs a sustainable development and environmental program.Specific goals include boosting farm productivity and food security, expanding access to social services and enhancing the competitiveness of small and medium-sized companies, according to the USAID website.During Wednesday’s speech, Morales also announced several laws to benefit workers and recalled the seventh anniversary of his nationalization of the oil and gas sector, which affected nearly a dozen foreign oil companies.Morales, a socialist, also marked May Day with an announcement that he would nationalize Spanish-owned power company TDE. Facebook Comments No related posts.
Viking OrionTravel + Leisure names Viking ‘world’s best’For the fourth consecutive year, Travel + Leisure (US) readers have voted Viking to the top of its categories in the 2019 World’s Best Awards.Viking was named the #1 Ocean Cruise Line for ships carrying 600-2,199 guests and one of the World’s Best River Cruise Lines. Since the launch of Viking’s ocean cruises in 2015, the company has been named a #1 Ocean Cruise Line every single year. Viking has also been voted a World’s Best River Cruise Line every year since the award’s inception in 2010.Travel + Leisure is the largest travel magazine brand in the US and since 1995 its readers have been asked to cast their votes for the World’s Best in cruising with considerations in the following cruise features: cabins/facilities, food, service itineraries/destinations, excursions/activities and value.“It is an unprecedented honor for a four-year-old ocean cruise line to be voted the world’s #1 ocean cruise line four years in a row,” said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking. “When we set out to reinvent ocean cruising, we knew travellers wanted something different and were interested in our destination-focused approach. We are pleased with the positive response from the travel industry and our guests. Thank you once again to the readers of Travel + Leisure for this prestigious award.”The announcement from Travel + Leisure adds to an impressive list of global accolades for Viking. Earlier this year, the company’s first five 930-guest sister ships, Viking Star, Viking Sea, Viking Sky, Viking Sun and Viking Orion dominated the Cruise Critic 9th Annual Cruisers’ Choice Awards (US), receiving 11 First Place honors. All six of Viking’s ships have been awarded a top rating of five stars by Cruise Critic – and Viking also received five awards in the luxury ocean and river categories of Cruise Critic’s 2018 Editors’ Picks Awards (US). Viking was again named the #1 River Cruise Line by Condé Nast Traveler in the publication’s 2018 Readers’ Choice Awards – and has also been honored as “Best Cruise Line for Luxury Ocean Cruises” and “Best Luxury River Cruise Company” in Luxury Travel Advisor magazine’s 2018 “Awards of Excellence” for a second consecutive year.The full results of the awards can be found at www.travelandleisure.com/worlds-best.For additional information, contact Viking Cruises at 138 747 (AU) or 0800 447 913 (New Zealand) or visit vikingcruises.com.au.About Viking CruisesViking was founded in 1997 with the purchase of four ships in Russia. Designed for discerning travelers with interests in science, history, culture and cuisine, Chairman Torstein Hagen often says Viking offers guests “the thinking person’s cruise” as an alternative to mainstream cruises. In its first three years of operation, Viking has been rated the #1 ocean cruise line in Travel + Leisure’s 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 “World’s Best” Awards. Viking currently operates a fleet of 78 vessels, offering scenic cruising on rivers and oceans around the world. In addition to the Travel + Leisure honours, Viking has also been honoured multiple times on Condé Nast Traveler’s “Gold List” as well as recognised by Cruise Critic as “Best Overall” Small-Mid size ship in the 2018 Cruisers’ Choice Awards (US), “Best River Cruise Line” and “Best River Itineraries,” with the entire Viking Longships fleet being named “Best New River Ships” in the website’s Editors’ Picks Awards (US).Source = Viking Cruises
Although spring has arrived, many of us still longing for the scorching sunshine and soaring temperatures of more exotic climes.For the best guarantee of good weather, long haul is probably still the best bet, but there are some excellent deals around which make this a very good value option, such as Etihad Airways who are offering up to 35% off flights to a wide range of destinations.Here’s three of our hot favourites: Bangkok – from £473Whether you love interesting flavours or simply love to eat, nowhere can rival Bangkok in the culinary stakes. Feast like an emperor on some of the most exquisite street food in the world, for absurdly economical prices. Exotic, steamy and dazzling with neon, Bangkok is frenetic, fast paced and utterly thrilling; a modern city laced with tradition where skyscrapers tower over temples and culinary alchemy happens every day on the streets. Get Etihad flights to BangkokDubai – from £398Known as the playground of the rich and famous and materialistic beyond your wildest dreams, it is still possible to live the high life in Dubai without spending a film star budget. There are excellent hotels at reasonable prices and thousands of square feet of duty free shopping to enjoy. Dine in five star fashion or eat shawarma (a sandwich-like wrap) on the streets, recline by the pool or wander the desert by camel. Dubai is Disneyland for grown-ups. Get Etihad flights to DubaiAbu Dhabi – from £398Sparklingly modern and more laid back than Dubai, Abu Dhabi is blessed with miles of spectacular waterfront, grand shopping malls, ancient forts and lush green parks; not to mention the title of ‘richest city in the world’. See the vast white domes of Sheikh Zayed Mosque, the largest mosque in the UAE, glistening in the sunlight or sail the brilliant blue waters of the Gulf in a traditional Dow, admiring Abu Dhabi’s charms from afar. Get Etihad flights from Abu DhabiReturnOne wayMulti-cityFromAdd nearby airports ToAdd nearby airportsDepart14/08/2019Return21/08/2019Cabin Class & Travellers1 adult, EconomyDirect flights onlySearch flights Map RelatedSuper off-peak: the cheapest times to visit your favourite destinationsItching to book a break away but wary of splashing too much cash? We’ve pored over flight prices to five of the most popular destinations to figure out the best-value time of year to travel. While we were at it, we picked out some pretty cool places to stay, too.…7 exotic winter sun destinations under £400Seven amazing exotic places for winter sun escapes, all with flights less than £400 return: in gorgeous pictures.How to search for multi stop flights with SkyscannerFind out how to use Skyscanner’s multi stop search tool to build your perfect trip.
Company registrations in January rose by 13 per cent to 1,198 compared with the same month in 2017, the Department of the Registrar of Companies and Official Receiver said on Friday.The number of applications for company names rose by an annual 20 per cent last month to 2,591, the department said in an emailed statement.The number of certified copies of documents issued rose by an annual 7.4 per cent to 28,072 while the submission of documents rose by 32 per cent to 14,846, it saidYou May LikePopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndoDr. Marty ProPower Plus Supplement3 Dangerous Foods People Feed Their Dogs (Without Realizing It)Dr. Marty ProPower Plus SupplementUndoYahoo SearchThese SUVs Are The Cream Of The Crop. Research Best Compact SUV CarYahoo SearchUndo Turkish Cypriot actions in Varosha ‘a clear violation’ of UN resolutions, Nicosia saysUndoConcern over falling tourism numbersUndoPensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoby Taboolaby Taboola
19Sep Harrison resident presents Rep. Johnson flag from Afghanistan frontline State Rep. Joel Johnson proudly displays an American flag from Operation Enduring Freedom from Corporal Scott E. Taylor of Harrison in his Lansing office. “I appreciate this gift a great deal,” said Johnson, R-Clare. “I have tremendous respect for Scott answering the call to service. My prayers continue to be with his wife Mindy and their children as they look forward to a happy reunion in the future.” Taylor shipped the flag from Afghanistan, where he is deployed as a member of the 144th Military Police Company “Blackhats.” The flag is displayed with an accompanying certificate certifying that it had flown on June 1, 2013 over Camp Bala Hissar “in the face of the enemy.” When home, Taylor serves as a Michigan State Police trooper. Categories: Johnson News,Johnson Photos,Photos
Categories: News,Webber News 17Feb Rep. Webber hosts February office hours in Rochester Hills State Rep. Michael Webber, of Rochester Hills, invites people to join him for in-district office hours on Monday, Feb. 27.Webber will answer questions and listen to concerns about state government from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at Panera Bread at 2921 S. Rochester Road in Rochester Hills,No appointment is necessary and there is no cost to attend. Anyone unable to attend may contact Rep. Webber’s office by calling (517) 373-1773 or by emailing Webber at MichaelWebber@house.mi.gov.#####
A bill sponsored by state Rep. Brandt Iden, of Oshtemo, would require all Michigan executive offices and branches to disclose salary information of state employees. This information will be posted on the Department of Technology and Management’s public website.“This legislation ensures transparency of government information for all Michigan citizens,” Iden said.The bill was referred to the House Oversight Committee for further consideration. Categories: Iden News 03Mar Rep. Iden introduces transparency legislation
BSkyB is to launch a new internet TV service, giving people who don’t already subscribe to its existing satellite pay TV service the option to take the movie-oriented online-only service.The internet TV service, which will launch in the first half of this year, will not require subscribers to sign up to a minimum contract and users will be able to choose from a variety of payment options, including monthly for unlimited access to Sky Movies or to rent on an à la carte basis.The service provide access to a range of Sky content beginning with Sky Movies, with sport and entertainment programming to follow.The service will be available across connected devices including PCs, Macs, laptops, tablets, mobile phones, games consoles and connected TVs.The new service is seen as a reaction to the UK launch of Netflix, appealing to viewers that do not want to sign up to a full-fledged pay TV option. Sky will continue to offer its recently launched Sky Go place-shifting service as a bonus to existing Sky pay TV subscribers.“This exciting new service will offer some of Sky’s most popular content through a wide range of broadband connected devices,” said Jeremy Darroch, CEO of BSkyB. “Alongside the continued growth of our satellite platform, this will be a new way for us to reach out to consumers who love great content, but may not want the full Sky service. Bringing a distinctive, new choice to the marketplace will help us meet the needs and demands of an ever wider range of consumers.”While the new service will be available to anyone with a broadband service irrespective of provider, Sky has also announced that it is expanding its own broadband network. The company will build its footprint to cover 88% of UK homes by 2013, bring another million homes into its coverage zone. It will also launch a public Wi-Fi service powered by recently acquired The Cloud, providing Sky Broadband Unlimited customers with free access to 10,000 hotspots across the UK, including partnerships with venues including Caffè Nero, Pizza Express and Wagamama. Sky will also launch a fibre service in April, giving customers access to speeds of up to 40Mbps for £20 (€24) a month. The serivce will be available to about 30% of UK homes at launch, and will grow as BT rolls out its fibre network.
Czech Republic-based online TV technology specialist Nangu.tv has integrated its platform with Envivio’s Caster C4 encoder.The Envivio encoder receives signals, which it passes along in various streams of different bitrate sizes, which nangu.TV ingestor picks up and stores in its Cluster Stream Storage. Nangu.TV then streams the content to the end user, automatically adjusting the resolution of the content depending on the device being used.
Satellite operator SES shareholders have named its president and CEO Romain Bausch to the company’s board, along with other new members Tsega Gebreyes and Marc Colas, at their annual general meeting.The trio will replace Gaston Reinesch, Robert Ross and Terry Seddon, who did not stand for re-election.Gebreyes is the founding director of Satya Capital and has served as chief business development and strategy officer of Celtel International and senior advisor to Zain. Colas is the general secretary of the council of ministers of the Luxembourg Government and administrateur général in the prime minister’s office.Following the shareholders’ meeting, the board elected René Steichen as chairman and François Tesch and Jean-Paul Zens as vice-chairmen.SES’s shareholders also approved a dividend of €0.97 a share.
Dick CostoloTwitter CEO Dick Costolo has defended the firm’s investment in its social TV strategy, against recent claims by NBCU executive Alan Wurtzel that social media is not impacting on TV ratings.On the company’s first quarter earnings call this week, Costolo said that there was “a host [of] and a continuing emergence of independent third-party rigorous research” that validates its belief that there is a “two-way complementary relationship between Twitter and TV.”“Fox Research has produced research that shows 92% of Twitter users have taken immediately some action, like either tuning into the TV show or searching for the TV show after seeing a tweet about the show.“Symphony Advanced Media highlighted that use of Twitter while watching TV decreases an audience member’s likelihood to change the channel. And then Nielsen found a causal relationship between Twitter activity and tune-in,” said Costolo.“All of that tells us, in addition to, I would say, the growing number of content providers and broadcasters participating in our Amplify program, that our Twitter and TV strategy is on the right track.”The comments follow a Financial Times interview last week with NBCUniversal’s head of research Alan Wurtzel, who claimed social media “is not a game changer yet” when it came to influencing television viewing.Citing viewership of the Winter Olympics, Wurtzel claimed that, against expectations, social media did not have a major effect on games viewership and that instead TV ratings were more likely to drive social conversations.He said that “it just isn’t true” that social media is a “potent new way” to drive ratings. “I am saying the emperor wears no clothes. It is what it is,” he told the paper.
Deutsche Telekom last week placed an offer for the 49% stake it does not already own in Slovakia’s Slovak Telekom, according to a Bloomberg report.According to Bloomberg, citing unnamed sources, it was Telekom’s move that led the Slovakian government to cancel its proposed IPO of the company last week. In April , the company set an initial IPO price range of between €17.70 and €23.60 per share, valuing the company at between €1.5 billion and €2 billion.At the time, Deutsche Telekom stated its intention of retaining its existing 51% stake and said it would not sell any of its own shares as part of the offering.According to Bloomberg’s sources, Deutsche Telekom has placed a bid that is higher than the €750 million that the Slovakian government could have expected to collect from the flotation. The IPO was priced at the lower end of the indicative range, amid concerns about the ownership structure, the company’s dividend policy and expectations of intensification of price competition in the market.
The BBC Trust has approved the closure of BBC Three and its reinvention as an online-only service but expressed concern about the sort-term impact on audience reach.According to the Trust’s public value assessment, the closure of the service will save £30 million (€42 million) a year and its proposed online replacement will be “more distinctive than the existing BBC Three channel, whose audience is currently failing”.However, the Trust called for a more carefully managed transition from broadcast TV to an online service, to raise awareness of the change, that could involve both services running in parallel for a time, and clear commitments from the BBC on programming for a younger audience.It also called for a commitment on developing new talent in broadcast TV.The Trust rejected the BBC’s plan to replace BBC Three with a time-shifted version of BBC One, saying the proposal lacked distinctiveness and would have an adverse impact on commercial broadcasters, particularly ITV and Channel 5.The Trust accepted the BBC’s plans for BBC iPlayer to move beyond its original remit to include more online-first and third party content, delivered at minimal cost.However, it said that it recommended that the BBC sets clear, objective criteria in relation to any third party content on iPlayer, and that it intends to make this a condition of approval, expressing some concerns that use of iPlayer to discover new content could have an adverse impact on commercial players in the future.
Hulu has appointed former Sonos and Xbox executive Ben Smith as its new senior vice president, head of experience.With the hire, the US video streaming service said it is bringing together four teams to make up its experience organisation – product, user experience, digital video production and customer support.Smith will lead the new experience team, which will head up Hulu’s “quest to redefine TV by changing the way our viewers enjoy television”, according to the company.Working in partnership with teams across Hulu, the experience team will be tasked with to identifying and implementing solutions that meet viewers’ needs – “from products to technologies to advertising, content and customer support.”“Ever since we rolled out our mission, vision, values and strategic priorities just over a year ago, we knew we needed to bring on a leader laser-focused on guiding our efforts to start with the viewer. Today I am pleased to welcome this leader, Ben Smith,” said Hulu CEO Mike Hopkins announcing the appointment.Smith joins from wireless speaker and home audio firm Sonos, where he was head of product management. Prior to that he was a partner at Microsoft, leading product design for Xbox and the TV and video experience for the Xbox One games console.
During its current charter period the BBC has set itself the challenge of reinventing itself for a new generation, according to deputy director general, Anne Bulford.Anne BulfordSpeaking at the DTG Summit in London this morning, Bulford said that the BBC needs to do “much, much more” to make its programmes and services cut through in an “extraordinarily competitive global space”.To do this, she said that the BBC is focusing on three major priorities – its creativity, its culture and its global ambition.“We know that younger people, and indeed older people, are consuming media in increasingly different ways, and we experience extraordinary competition for peoples’ time,” said Bulford.“We need to do much more to reach audiences and whoever and wherever they are, and however they wish to consume content.”Creatively, she said the BBC aims to be defined by its boldness and originality during the current charter period. This applies both to TV and online – “where competition is highest, new audiences are most present, and where we can serve them in brilliant new ways”.“That means reinventing the iPlayer; making the very most of our world-class audio content; making the most of new technologies like AI, voice recognition and VR; and transforming the BBC’s public services to be more open, more creative and be available when and where the public wants them.”Culturally, the deputy DG said that the BBC needs to be more seamless in how it works together across technical and editorial teams, more nimble in how it allocates budgets, and more responsive to industry changes.“If we are truly to reinvent the BBC for a new generation, we have to be more entrepreneurial in our make-up,” said Bulford. “This will be a particular focus for me in the months and years ahead.”She also identified personalisation as another key area that will take up much of her time, claiming this to be “absolutely essential” to the BBC’s future success.Citing the “reinvention of public service broadcasting” through data, Bulford said: “We believe that the closer and more personal our relationship with our audiences is, the more they will choose the BBC.“Our goal is that by the time we reach our centenary year in 2022, we will have reinvented the BBC that is irresistible to all audiences.”Globally, she said that in an era of “fake news” it is the BBC’s mission to be a trusted voice in a crowded area, and that the BBC needs to do more than ever both inside and outside the UK.
The 2016 Award winners celebrating in CannesDigital TV Europe and TBI have unveiled the shortlist for the third annual Content Innovation Awards, with entries from a wide range of top-tier operators, content companies and technology providers competing for the honours across 20 awards categories this year.New categories this year include Best New Venture, The YouTube Award, The Social Engagement Award, the Next Gen Advertising Award, The UX Award, the Consumer Premises Equipment Innovation of the Year, TV Service Innovation of the Year and Virtual Reality Sports Experience.This year’s event will also include two Awards in recognition of individual achievement: the Lifetime Achievement Award and International Content Leader of the Year.Following the success of the first two editions of the Content Innovation Awards in Cannes, this year’s event, which Digital TV Europe is hosting in partnership with our sister title, TBI, promises to be bigger and better than ever, once again celebrating the most impressive innovations in TV content creation, distribution and technology over the past year.The awards ceremony will take place on Sunday October 15, once again at the Carlton Hotel’s Grand Salon in Cannes.To view the full shortlist for the 2017 awards, click here.
BBC First content is set to debut in Thailand after BBC Studios stuck a programming-block deal with Thai public broadcaster MCOT.McMafiaThe BBC First block will include British drama series like McMafia, Press and Luther and will launch in February 2019 on MCOT’s 24-hour entertainment channel, Channel 9.“British drama is working remarkably well with audiences, with outstanding talent producing some of the very best television in the world,” said Myleeta Aga, senior vice-president and general manager of South and South-East Asia, BBC Studios.“We are excited to be working with MCOT to bring premium British drama to Thai audiences, backed by the BBC First brand.”In Asia, BBC First is also available as an SVOD channel in Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong and as a block in Japan. It can be accessed via BBC Player online and as an app in Singapore and Malaysia.
Multi-service use of pay TV and OTT offerings is becoming the norm, with the average North American household using 2.75 services, up 26% since 2017, according to TiVo.The company’s latest Video Trends Report found that Netflix was the service most frequently selected as ‘essential’ to how consumers receive entertainment, with 52.7% of respondents choosing it. This was followed by free YouTube videos at 45.9% and then cable TV at 39.5%.A greater proportion of people, at 41.1%, chose cable TV as supplementary rather than essential. This split wasn’t seen by Netflix, which was considered a supplemental service by only 30% of respondents.“As service clustering increases, it’s important to note that a sizable portion of respondents are still ‘cord-only’ users, though this group tends to be older,” according to the report.The research found that 30.7% of respondents were not using any major monthly OTT/SVOD services and said that this partially aligns with the 21.5% who only have linear pay TV.“Overall, consumers are using a variety of services, and with the exception of several ever-popular categories (pay TV and Netflix, for example), they’re not flocking to any particular content providers or services. Instead, they’re demanding more content from more sources than ever before.”The research was based on a survey of 4,458 people aged 18 and over in the US and Canada that was conducted in the fourth quarter of 2018.To access the full report, click here.
Vodafone Deutschland has struck a cable wholesale agreement with Telefónica Deutschland in a move designed ensure that the EC gives approval to cable giant Liberty Global’s sale of its Germany business to the operator.Vodafone has submitted a remedy package comprising the cable wholesale agreement and a commitment to ensure sufficient capacity is available for OTT TV distribution to the EC to secure approval of the deal with Liberty.The operator said that in combination, the wholesale agreement and OTT commitment would enhance broadband competition in Germany to the benefit of consumers and broadcasters.The EC now intends to undertake market testing of the remedy package, which is expected to conclude during this month.The cable wholesale agreement will allow Telefónica to offer high-speed broadband services to consumers on Vodafone and Unitymedia’s cable network in Germany, and is subject to the completion of Vodafone’s acquisition of Liberty Global’s operations in Germany, the Czech Republic, Hungary and RomaniaTelefónica will be able to market broadband services over the combined Vodafone and Unitymedia cable network in Germany, which covers 23.7 million households.The deal has been signed on a long-term basis, with Telefónica committed to achieving an unstated minimum level of customers over the term of the contract.Vodafone said that it expected the Commission to adopt its decision on the Liberty transaction by July with completion occurring later that month.“Our deal with Liberty Global is transformational in many ways. It is a significant step towards a Gigabit society, which will enable consumers and businesses to access the world of content & digital services at high speeds. It also creates a converged national challenger in four important European countries, bringing innovation & greater choice. We are very pleased to announce today our cable wholesale access agreement with Telefónica Deutschland, enabling them to bring faster broadband speeds to their customers and further enhancing infrastructure competition across Germany,” said Vodafone CEO Nick Read.The European Commission has set a July 9 deadline for deciding on whether to give a green light to Vodafone’s acquisition of Liberty Global’s cable business in Germany and central Europe after the parties submitted their commitments yesterday. The Commission previously had set a deadline of June 18 to come to a decision.