Share in Technology October 17, 2013 454 Views MISMO Releases Reference Model Version 3.3, Seeks Public Comments Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Company News Investors Lenders & Servicers Mortgage Bankers Association Service Providers 2013-10-17 Emily Ellis The “”Mortgage Industry Standards Maintenance Organization””:http://www.mismo.org/default.htm (MISMO) announced Wednesday the release of its Residential Reference Model Version 3.3 for public comment. The organization’s press release stresses the significance of the updates given recent changes in regulatory and reporting requirements in the industry.[IMAGE][COLUMN_BREAK]This iteration, developed by experts industrywide, “”provides the mortgage finance industry with the standards needed in today’s rapidly changing regulatory and compliance environment,”” noted Mike Fratantoni, president of MISMO. Specifically, Version 3.3 reflects changes to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) integrated closing disclosures, high-cost loans under the Home Ownership and Equity Protection Act (HOEPA), the Uniform Mortgage Servicing Dataset (UMSD) used within GSEs, the Federal Housing Administration’s (FHA) TOTAL Scorecard, and Ginnie Mae’s Pool Data Delivery dataset.Also among the enhancements is an updated Logical Data Dictionary (LDD). Further details of the enhancement can be found in the Version 3.3 Release Notes and in the organization’s latest Residential Specifications. MISMO welcomes comments from the public regarding errors and omissions until December 16, 2013. Comments on Version 3.3 may be sent to email@example.com.
Auction.com Co-Founder Honored as ‘Internet Person of the Year’ Auction.com Company News 2014-11-03 Tory Barringer Share November 3, 2014 488 Views Auction.com’s Rob Friedman has a new award for the mantle: The Internet Marketing Association (IMA) named the real estate marketplace’s chairman and co-founder Internet Person of the Year.According to an announcement, IMA awarded Friedman the honor based on his hands-on approach to create a marketplace where homebuyers and sellers can benefit from a transparent, efficient process.”Rob Friedman utterly embodies the total vision of the internet entrepreneur—the drive, the vision, the innovation, the risk taking,” said Sinan Kanatsiz, chairman and founder of IMA. “Combine that with his commitment to his community, employees and the development of the highest professional standards for the internet marketing industry, and the selection of Rob as ‘Internet Person of the Year’ was a decision that was impossible not to make.”With this recognition, Friedman and Auction.com join the ranks of some of the most prominent Internet entrepreneurs of the last decade, including Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Nativo founder Justin Choi, and Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh.”To receive this award is such an honor—and a testament to Auction.com’s success in providing Internet users with the most seamless process possible for transacting real estate,” Friedman said. “With more than $26 billion in residential and commercial properties sold through our platform, Auction.com is indeed ‘where real estate is moving now and into the future.'” in Headlines, News, Technology
Cardinals expect improving Murphy to contribute right away Wells can come off the list at any point during trainingcamp. “I’m going to take my time,” he said. “I’m going todefinitely take my time. I don’t think anybody wants tosee a 75-percent Beanie Wells. Everybody wants to see a100-percent Beanie Wells and that’s what I want to give.”Wells was less than 100-percent for much of last seasonyet still managed to rush for over 1,000 yards.“It’s one of those things that, it takes time,” he said ofhis recovery. “(The knee) is getting better each day.”Wells missed all of mini-camp and every one of the team’sOTAs in the offseason. He now has missed the team’s firstpractice of camp.How much more time he’ll miss is unknown. He didsound confident, however, that it won’t be much longer.“I know for a fact that there’s no question whether I’llbe ready for September 9th or not,” he said of theCardinals opener against Seattle six weeks away. “It’sjust a matter of letting things calm down and not puttingso much wear and tear.“I’ll be out there back before you know it.” – / 35 0 Comments Share FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — For many, it was a surprise whenthe Cardinals announced Tuesday that running back BeanieWells had been placed on the active/physically unable toperform list, meaning he is unable to practice.Wells, however, was not.“I knew what we were going to do from the beginning,” hesaid Wednesday, six months after undergoing what he calleda “scope” on his right knee. (He did not provide anyfurther details.) What an MLB source said about the D-backs’ trade haul for Greinke Top Stories Nevada officials reach out to D-backs on potential relocation D-backs president Derrick Hall: Franchise ‘still focused on Arizona’
Categories: Daire Rendon News,Daire Rendon Photos 17Jan Rep. Rendon attends governor’s State of the State State Rep. Daire Rendon, R-Lake City, right, attends the governor’s State of the State address with her husband, former state Rep. Bruce Rendon, left, and friend Lynne Pratt, Vice President of the Michigan Home Builders Association, center, on the House floor this evening.###
12Apr Rep. Iden: Gaming reforms needed to help Michigan charities Categories: Iden News,News State Rep. Brandt Iden of Oshtemo today said he will continue to push for reforms that will make it easier for charities to raise more money through poker and casino-style gaming in Michigan.Iden, chair of the House Regulatory Reform Committee, played a key role in the advancement of the legislation aimed at easing regulatory burdens on charitable gaming. The legislation is awaiting a vote on the House floor after winning approval in Iden’s committee.“These are important reforms for local charities,” Iden said. “Adopting this legislation will help Kalamazoo County charities raise more money and do more good throughout our community and state. Charities will be able to donate more money to food banks, veterans’ groups, schools and many other community programs that improve lives.”Charities say the amount of money they have been able to raise through so-called “millionaire parties” and other casino-style gaming has dropped significantly in recent years because of the restrictive rules.Iden said the legislation pending in the House allows charities to raise more money while requiring reasonable limits on hours of operation and the amount of money wagered.The legislation also protects against bad operators, keeping licensing requirements in place to ensure the system is safe and fair for charities.“Charitable gaming has long been an excellent source of revenue for many charities throughout Michigan,” said Thomas Hickson, vice president of public policy and advocacy for the Michigan Catholic Conference. “Rules issued by the Michigan Gaming Control Board made the operations of casino-style charity games nearly unworkable. This legislation introduces common sense reforms to protect the integrity of the games while allowing charities to continue using them to support programs of critical importance to their communities.”Catholic schools are among those who have used charitable gaming to support athletic and other noncurricular programs. The Knights of Columbus have used charitable gaming to support food drives for the needy, help people with cognitive disabilities and to benefit many other causes.
House Bill 4546, sponsored by Howell, includes the provision that requires community colleges and workforce development agencies to not breach an individual’s confidentiality in using the information. House Bill 4545, submitted by state Rep. Jim Ellison of Royal Oak, expands the use of unemployment data to educational agencies to update course training programs.“We must continue to work in the Legislature to give our citizens a better environment for career training and job growth,” Howell said. “These bills are another strong step forward to allow our partners in education the detail needed to help drive Michigan forward.”The legislation advances to the Senate for its review. Bipartisan legislation, which will mandate information sharing to evaluate and update jobs training and college education programs, was approved by the state House today.A bill sponsored by state Rep. Gary Howell (R-North Branch) will improve career training by requiring the state government to share employment and salary information to evaluate programs and improve curriculums to better prepare Michigan residents for the job market.“This is an opportunity for Michigan to have measurable data to show where we can better focus our jobs training resources,” Howell said. “Information, which will be provided to our colleges, job training agencies and intermediate school districts, will show the success we have and where the demand is growing in terms of preparing for a career.” Categories: Howell News,News 18May Bipartisan jobs training information package approved by House
State Rep. Scott VanSingel of Grant welcomes residents to join him for upcoming office hours during the month of December.“It is important for me to regularly meet with residents to hear their questions and concerns regarding state government,” VanSingel said. “I invite all residents to participate in my office hours.”Rep. VanSingel will be available at the following times and locations:Monday, Dec. 118:30 to 9:30 a.m. at the Pink Elephant, 207 S. State St. in Hart;10 to 11 a.m. at Good Stuffs, 111 S Hancock St. in Pentwater; andNoon to 1 p.m. at the Brown Bear, 147 Michigan Ave. in Shelby. No appointments are necessary. Those unable to attend may contact Rep. VanSingel’s office at (517) 373-7317 or by email at ScottVanSingel@house.mi.gov. 28Nov Rep. VanSingel announces December office hours Categories: VanSingel News
21Feb Bellino remains committed to fight against opioids Categories: Bellino News Legislator: E-scripts eliminate fraud and doctor shoppingState Rep. Joe Bellino has introduced a plan to cut down on fraudulent prescriptions and combat Michigan’s growing opioid abuse epidemic.The legislation calls on doctors to send all prescriptions through a secure computer system, preventing anyone but the doctor from issuing prescriptions.“This practice holds doctors accountable and cuts down on bad actors and double-prescribers,” said Bellino, an addict in recovery for more than two decades. “Between 3 and 9 percent of opioid abusers use forged prescriptions. E-scripts would prevent forgeries and the overdose deaths that can result from them.”Bellino said the plan also reduces the number of prescription errors caused by illegible handwriting and detects inappropriate prescribing of opioids and other medical errors. Studies show that e-prescribing also reduces doctor shopping, the practice of getting narcotic prescriptions from multiple doctors.“The cost of doing nothing is far too great for us to stand by and watch opioid dependence and overdose continue to take lives across the state,” Bellino said. “There were 1,762 opioid-related deaths in Michigan in 2016. Something has to change.”During the 2017-18 term, Bellino sponsored a number of other opioid-reform policies, including a locking vial to prevent drug abuse and a requirement for doctors to inform parents of minors about the dangers of opioids prior to prescribing. He also supported measures requiring doctors to consult the Michigan Automated Prescription System (MAPS) to verify a patient has not shown any signs of being an abuser before prescribing opioids and to require schools to instruct students on the dangers of opioids, as well as several other measures.House Bill 4217 was referred to the House Health Policy Committee for consideration.###
Share4Tweet7ShareEmail11 SharesJanuary 20, 2018; Roanoke TimesAs much as it is smart for nonprofits to steer clear of partisan political rivalries, it is also probably good practice for local politicians to steer clear of rivalries between competing community-based nonprofits and maintain an arms-length relationship with charities in their communities. In short, be supportive, but don’t get too cozy. Certainly, don’t let your sentiments lead you into violating the law, as they may have done in this story from Roanoke, a city of some 100,000 people in the southwest part of Virginia.The Roanoke Times reports that “City Councilman John Garland acknowledged he might have run afoul of the spirit of the city charter, if not the letter of it, by contacting city staff directly with concerns about the legitimacy of a local nonprofit.”The paper says that last year, Garland questioned whether the Hope Center, a small anti-poverty nonprofit run by the councilman’s one-time political allies, was in compliance with all city regulations. He directly contacted the city’s code enforcement staff and finance director. That “helped trigger a full review of the Hope Center’s…building in August by a range of city inspectors. The review identified the lack of a certificate of occupancy as the center’s only issue.”Ironically, Garland said that he had used his influence as a councilman to hold code inspectors at bay from the Hope Center in the past. The mayor and council members are barred by law from giving orders to subordinates of the city manager.Garland said he didn’t “give any orders,” but admitted that an inquiry to a rank-and-file city employee by a city council member would be perceived as an order by the employee. That situation is reminiscent of current controversies surrounding President Trump’s conversations regarding the Russia investigation with now-fired FBI Director James Comey.Garland, at least, told the Times that “the lesson is one he’s already learned and embraced…If I do something I’m not supposed to do, I learn from that, I correct it, I say I’m sorry and I move on.”The controversy stems from Garland’s past relationships with two community activists in northwest Roanoke—the controversial leader of a local anti-violence group and the head of the Hope Center. He was caught “in the middle of a bitter feud [replete with dueling Facebook posts] and shifting and sometimes confusing allegiances.” He was an active supporter and contributor to the Center before he was elected to the council in 2016, and its leaders endorsed Garland’s council campaign.Garland had on-again, off-again relationships with both community leaders, assisting them on various issues. But the relationship with the Hope Center soured over a variety of conflicts, ending with accusations that Garland was trying to shut it down, and steer resources toward the rival anti-violence group. Eventually, the dispute raised questions by other council members.In an effort to determine exactly what issues the Hope Center might have, the city sent a team of inspectors to go over the entire building and operation. The only issue they found was the remaining lack of a certificate of occupancy, which was resolved.Garland said he was told by the city attorney to sever all ties with both groups. The city attorney declined to comment, citing attorney-client privilege. But it sounds like good advice.—Larry KaplanShare4Tweet7ShareEmail11 Shares
Share15Tweet5ShareEmail20 SharesFebruary 26, 2018; Next City“Since 2016, at least eight Oregon cities have adopted construction excise taxes to fund affordable housing,” reports Jared Brey in Next City. The latest Oregon city to join this trend is Medford, a city of 80,000 people located midway between Portland and Sacramento, California. Brey writes that high housing prices, which had been making it difficult for Medford to recruit city civil service employees, were one leading cause of the city’s policy decision.Earlier this month, Medford city council voted unanimously to adopt the tax, setting the rate at one-third of one percent of building permit fees on major residential, commercial, and industrial development projects. The city estimates that the tax will generate $500,000 a year to support affordable housing.Nationally, states and localities have used many mechanisms to finance affordable housing. A brief published last year by the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) notes that financing sources for affordable housing at the state and local level include “real estate transfer taxes, interest from real estate escrow accounts, document recording fees, and developer impact fees, as well as from general revenues.”The construction excise tax operates similarly to a developer impact fee, but the Oregon variant is specifically dedicated to supporting affordable housing, while developer impact fees tend to be used to finance a broader range of projects, including parks and schools. Oregon is not the only state to tax construction to finance affordable housing—for example, South Dakota initiated a similar policy in 2013. But the construction excise tax idea seems to be catching on quickly in Oregon, as a growing number of cities decide that taxing rapid urban growth is an effective mechanism to support affordable housing in hot real estate markets.The city of Bend was the first Oregon city to adopt a construction excise tax, which it did back in 2006. Brey notes that in Bend, according to the city’s affordable housing director Lynne McConnell, “The excise tax has leveraged nearly $80 million in additional funding since its adoption and helped create 770 units of new affordable housing.”But the construction excise tax idea was once highly controversial in Oregon; indeed, Bend’s action led the state to ban the use of construction excise taxes in any other city in Oregon in 2007. The ban was only lifted nine years later in 2016.What drove the lifting of the ban, Brey explains, was the housing crunch, which led “the Oregon state legislature in 2016 [to pass] a series of bills” to give cities more tools to support affordable housing. “At the time,” Brey writes, “the biggest headline item was a provision that lifted a state ban on inclusionary zoning, which cities use to mandate or incentivize the inclusion of affordable units in new housing construction. But in the same law, the state also lifted a ban on construction excise taxes.”One strength of the construction excise tax mechanism is its universality. “It’s all about how to bring in small developers, mom-and-pop type shops, who aren’t building a ton of units every year but are increasing the supply overall,” McConnell says. “If we can help them pull just a couple of units into the affordable realm, that’s a win-win for everybody.”“Portland,” Oregon’s largest city, was “among the first cities to pass both a construction excise tax and a mandatory inclusionary zoning policy after the state legislature lifted the ban,” observes Brey. The tax rate in Portland is set at one percent, the highest amount allowed by state law. Brey notes that the tax “applies only to projects valued at more than $100,000” and is “used to pay for affordable housing for families earning less than 60 percent of the median income.”Other cities adopting the one-percent rate include Hood River City, Cannon Beach, and Corvallis. Eugene, Oregon’s third-largest city, is currently debating enacting its own excise tax.“This is absolutely a statewide problem and local jurisdictions are looking for tools to solve that problem,” says Alison McIntosh, deputy director for policy and communications at the nonprofit Neighborhood Partnerships, which, among other programs, coordinates the Oregon Housing Alliance.Brey writes that Matt Brinkley, planning director in Medford, estimates that a one-percent tax might have raised between $1 million and $2 million a year, but a lower rate enabled the tax to get approved on a unanimous vote. The lower rate means the fund will initially only raise about $500,000. “We want to implement this program as flexibly as possible,” Brinkley says.Brinkley adds that the city is also considering other mechanisms to increase housing affordability, including develop a program to encourage homeowners to develop accessory housing units.—Steve DubbShare15Tweet5ShareEmail20 Shares
Germany’s Federal Cartel Office is probing the country’s public broadcaster’s plan to launch an online catch-up service.ARD and ZDF want to launch a video-on-demand catch-up platform under the Germany’s Gold moniker and the Cartel Office will assess whether it adversely impacts competition in this market segment. The same body has already investigated and blocked plans for similar services from commercial broadcasters RTL and ProSiebenSat.1 on the basis that it would give them too much control of the advertising market.
KidsCo is developing a new on-air identity that will roll out next year.The kids channel will launch a new on-air look and website globally during the first quarter of 2013. KidsCo is also moving its playout services to owner Corus Entertainment’s facilities in Toronto.Hendrik McDermott, managing director of KidsCo, said: “2013 is set to be an exciting year for KidsCo. We will leverage the global capability and expertise of both our shareholders, NBCUniversal and Corus Entertainment, to deliver a refreshed and much stronger channel, which will allow us to compete on the global stage. We will continue to drive our international growth plans through investment in safe, responsible and localised content and provide excellent value for our affiliates.”
Google will reportedly unveil new Spotify-type music subscription services at its I/O conference today, having signed licensing deals with Universal Music Group and Sony Music Entertainment for YouTube and Google Play.According to US tech site The Verge, citing music industry sources, Google will launch separate services for YouTube and the Google Play Android market.Google was earlier this year reported to have struck a deal with Warner Music Group.According to The New York Times, the Google Play service will not include a free tier. The Wall Street Journal meanwhile has reported that YouTube is attempting to obtain licences from music labels to launch a music video subscription service as well as for audio-only songs, but it is not clear where those talks stand.YouTube last week launched a subscription channels pilot service with 53 partner networks.
Swedish cable operator Com Hem will offer Netflix as part of its TiVo offering when it launches on October 7.The addition of Netflix to the offering will bring the opportunity to view series including House of Cards, Hemlock Grove and Orange is the New Black to Com Hem subscribers. The move is the first launch by Netflix in Sweden in partnership with an existing pay TV provider.Netflix will be included in the offering from December.Com Hem’s TiVo offering will launch with a number of packages, led by TiVo Max with about 80 channels. As well as Netflix the service will include UK content-based subscription video-on-demand service Cirkus, CMore Play and Viasat Film as well as about 12,000 titles from its own on-demand store.Cirkus, which will also be available on the TiVo service from December, is a branded SVoD service that aggregates UK-centric programming from suppliers including All3Media, BBC Worldwide and ITV Studios, including the likes of Luther, Accused and Blue Planet.Com Hem is also adding a number of new channels to its offering including MTV Live HD, Mezzo Live HD, Travel Channel HD and Ginx TV. Future additions will include Fuel TV HD , Kanal 5 HD and Horse & Country TV.The TiVo box offered by Com Hem comes with a 1TB hard drive with three tuners. TiVoToGo allows viewers to view content on multiple devices and is included in the main three packages. TiVoToGo will include content from SVT , the BBC, MTV, Nickelodeon, Turner and National Geographic amongst others.The TiVo service will be available from SEK149 (€17) a month.
Liberty Global CEO, Mike FriesLiberty Global has denied that it is looking to make a move into the Spanish market, despite recent reports that the European cable giant and Vodafone had both explored multi-billion Euro bids for ONO.Speaking on Liberty Global’s fourth quarter earnings call, CEO Mike Fries said that while the firm does not comment on mergers and acquisitions “in this instance I can more or less tell you we are probably not looking at Spain.”Asked specifically about if ONO could fit Liberty’s M&A strategy and its efforts to move into new markets, Fries said: “That market does not fit, for a lot of reasons today, into what we are trying to achieve in the European marketplace and we don’t have the synergies [or], quite frankly, the confidence in that country or that asset that others have. So I don’t see us participating there.”He added: “We are focused, as I think I have said for over a decade now on our core markets first and trying to build scale in the countries that are most important to us.”The news comes less than a week after ONO’s board of directors backed plans to take the company public, claiming that no proposals related to an acquisition of the firm were presented or discussed during a meeting at the company’s headquarters in Madrid.Earlier this month, mobile telecom giant Vodafone was reported to have tabled a €6.9 billion bid for ONO, while at the end of January, Liberty was also reported to be in the running for the Spanish operator.Spain is one of the few European markets where Liberty Global is not present, while the firm has been on an acquisition spree to shore up its presence elsewhere on the continent.Liberty agreed to buy Ziggo last month in a deal that values the Dutch cable operator at roughly €10 billion, and in 2013 bought the UK’s Virgin Media for some €17.2 billion.Speaking on the earnings call, Fries said that along with those two deals, Liberty’s sale of Chellomedia will allow it reposition its content investments, and added: “We are exploring a spin-off of our rapidly-growing Latin American business to further simplify our European platform and create an opportunity for shareholders to participate in the consolidation of those emerging markets.”
CME co-CEO Michael Del NinCentral European Media Enterprises (CME) has dismissed recent reports that investment group PPF is in talks to buy the company or its flagship Czech channel TV Nova. In an interview with Czech business newspaper Hospodářské noviny, CME co-CEO Michael Del Nin said the company sale speculation was “completely untrue,” and described TV Nova as “the heart of this company.”“We are not conducting any negotiations for the sale of the company; we plan to be here for a long time,” said Del Nin.CME co-CEO Christoph Mainusch added: “Our strategy is to focus on and improve our broadcasting business, and once this assignment is completed, we want to further develop this company. We can then launch new channels or expand to new markets. Why should we sell TV Nova? This wouldn’t fit within this strategy at all.”However, the pair did concede that it is looking to sell some assets as part of CME’s turnaround plans, which they started enacting after taking over from former CEO Adrian Sarbu in August in a bid to stem the firm’s losses.Del Nin said “most of the assets that we want to divest are in Romania” – including radio stations, cinemas or its theatrical distribution business.“They are good assets, but they have diverted us from a focus on our core business. We have a number of interested parties from across the region looking at them,” said Del Nin.Last month local reports claimed that Czech businessmen including billionaire Petr Kellner, who owns PPF, were are in takeover talks with CME’s majority shareholder Time Warner. However, PPF later denied it was in talks to buy CME or TV Nova.
Liberty Global and Discovery Communications are reportedly in talks with CVC Capital Partners and Lehman Brothers Holdings about buying a 49% stake in Formula One.According to a Bloomberg report, which cites people with knowledge of the matter, talks are ongoing, though the two camps are roughly US$500 million (€370 million) at odds in terms of valuation.The report said that Liberty and Discovery are seeking a US$4 billion deal, valuing Formula One at US$8 billion, however, CVC and Lehmen are reportedly seeking some US$4.5 billion for the stake.CVC, which owns 35.5% of F1 compared to Liberty’s 15.3%, is also considering a Formula One IPO for F1, according to Bloomberg.The news comes in the same month that Discovery completed its US$1.2 billion deal to acquire a majority stake in international sport broadcaster Eurosport from TF1. Discovery originally announced its move for 20% Eurosport in late 2012 and in January of this year said it would accelerate a plan to take a 51% stake in the business.In May of this year, Liberty Global and Discovery Communications also agreed to buy UK-based TV programme maker and distributer All3Media for £550 million (€673 million). The buyers formed a 50-50 joint venture to acquire All3, which is known for shows such as Skins, Midsomer Murders, Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares and The Only Way is Essex.
Gulu MonteiroPerforming arts streaming service Cennarium is due to launch at the MIPCOM TV market in Cannes next week. The global platform will give viewers direct access to recorded performances of plays, operettas, dance performances and ballets – including a Russian production of Chekov’s Three Sisters, award-winning Flamenco dancers’ La Moneta spectacle and German operetta The Circus Princess.Cennarium, a boutique producer, distributor and VOD platform, will also offer premium HD content to international broadcasters at MIPCOM.“We are delighted to be at MIPCOM to launch our new online platform and to offer our exclusive content to broadcasters from all over the world,” said Gulu Monteiro, managing artistic and commercial director, Cennarium.“Cennarium is in a unique position – able to produce and distribute our diverse range of content having struck deals directly with the venues and theatrical companies. This allows us greater freedom in distributing the content and more opportunity to bring these fantastic local shows to a global audience as well as providing important financial support to local performing arts companies.”
Numericable’s LaBox FibreFrance’s competition authority has given the green light, with conditions, to the acquisition of SFR by Numericable to create a high-speed fixed internet and mobile rival to Orange. The competition watchdog is imposing significant obligations on Numericable for an initial five-year period, with the possibility of renewing them for a further five years.One of the most important conditions for Numericable is that it must open up its high-speed network to competitors with a bitstream-type white label wholesale offering. Bouygues Telecom already uses Numericable’s network on this basis to extend its reach. The authority noted that this is the first time in Europe that a competition regulator has opened up a cable network to competitors in this way.Numericable acknowledged that it had agreed to provide two access products – one aimed at MVNOs that did not have their own fixed access network and one aimed at MVNOs and network operators that use their own client interface.The regulator noted that “Numericable profits from a significant lead in the [high-speed] market and its competitors will not have access to an equivalent network for several years”. It said that Numericable would be able to target SFR’s mobile and ADSL subscribers and migrate them to its cable network, leading to the possibility that Numericable could pre-empt the build-out of fibre networks by its rivals, particularly as SFR has previously entered into agreements with Bouygues Telecom and Orange to share the burden of building out fibre. Numericable has committed not to oppose the deployment of fibre by Orange in areas previously reserved for SFR under the pair’s agreement.Regarding pay TV, Canal+-owner Vivendi will hold a minority stake in the new entity and will nominate members of its administrative board. Numericable has agreed to put in place a Chinese wall whereby Vivendi representatives will absent themselves from discussions around pay TV activities.Altice/Numericable has also agreed to sell its business-to-business arm Completel’s copper network, and to sell its French overseas territories operator Outremer Telecom’s mobile activities.The competition authority’s approval opens the way for the completion of the deal before the end of the year.Patrick Drahi, the investor behind Altice, will become president of the combined entity, with current Numericable chief executive Eric Denoyer becoming CEO. Current SFR CEO Jean-Yves Charlier will remain with the company for now as adviser to Drahi, charged with supervising the integration of the two entities and overseeing Altice’s international interests.Drahi is betting heavily on the benefits of selling SFR’s mobile services to Numericable subscribers and Numericable’s high-speed internet services to SFR customers. Numericable is spending a total of €13.5 billion to take control of its larger rival, including €8.8 billion in debt, and has identified €1.1 billion in synergies, including both its ability to cross-sell services and to reduce costs.
France Télévisions has launched FranceTV Zoom, a major mobile initiative allowing users to build personalised playlists of videos from the French public broadcaster.The app, which is available now for iPhone, lets viewers watch programmes and clips and search for content based on the time that they have available to view – for instance five minutes, 10 minutes, 20 minutes or longer.Viewers can search the France TV catalogue, select from themes and topics that interest them or discover content through playlists put together by the Zoom team.More functionality is due to be added in the future, with France TV promising offline playback, bookmarking options, programme alerts and AirPlay and Chromecast support.France TV said that Zoom users will be able to subscribe to their favourite programs and playlists, getting alerts for when they are available and receiving them automatically, from this summer.A browser-based version of Zoom and offline functionality is due to be added in the autumn, while iPad and Android versions of the application will follow “soon.”