Europe Round-Up: VMtv Sells Shopping Channels; Mecom Debt Extension; Vodafone IPTV; Amazon Germany


Virgin Media: The telco has sold its shopping channel business Sit-Up TV to Munich-based investor Aurelius. Terms were not disclosed. Launched in 2000, the company runs the Bid TV, Price-drop TV and Speed Auction TV channels in the UK and made revenues of £242 million last year. Rumours abound that Virgin is considering a sell-off of its entire VMtv content division, which also includes a 50 percent stake in UKTV along with BBCWW. The acquisition follows Aurelius’ purchase of RTL’s Shop channel last July. From NMA.

Vodafone: The mobile operatoris building an R&D centre focusing on IPTV products in Germany, with a view to developing TV-over-internet products across its markets. The facility will be in Eschborn, near Frankfurt, the home of broadband provider Arcor AG, which Vodafone (NYSE: VOD) bought from Deutsche Bank and Deutsche Bahn last year. Via Dow Jones.

Mecom: London-listed newspaper group Mecom has again negotiated an extension of its banking covenants. The covenant test has been postponed twice since December 31 while talks continue with the company’s lending banks about its debts of almost £500 million; it will now be held on April 30. Mecom has created some breathing space after selling newspaper businesses in Norway and Germany. Release (pdf).

Amazon (NSDQ: AMZN) Germany: Having launched its mp3 download store in the UK last December, Amazon has given its German site the same treatment.’s download service went live on Wednesday with five million DRM-free tracks, with many albums costing less than

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