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In This List

Judge halts JEDI contract; DOJ charges Huawei; T-Mobile owner seeks fresh terms

Virgin Media-O2 Tie Up, EC Reversal on Three-O2 to Reboot Consolidation

COVID-19 Impacts Incumbent Telco Revenues In Western Europe

Disney+ Ditches Free Trials — Will Other Big Streamers Follow Suit?

COVID-19 Pandemic Likely To Cause US Telemedicine Boom


Judge halts JEDI contract; DOJ charges Huawei; T-Mobile owner seeks fresh terms

Top News

* A federal judge ordered Microsoft Corp. to temporarily stop work on a $10 billion cloud-computing contract while the court investigates claims by rejected bidder Amazon Web Services Inc. that the Trump administration improperly interfered with the award process. The preliminary injunction also requires AWS, a subsidiary of Amazon.com Inc., to pay $42 million for costs and damages "in the event that future proceedings prove that this injunction was issued wrongfully."

* The U.S. Department of Justice charged Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. with conspiring to steal trade secrets from U.S. businesses and violating racketeering laws. In an indictment filed in federal court in Brooklyn, N.Y., the DOJ also charged Huawei CFO Wanzhou Meng, Huawei Device Co. Ltd., Huawei Device USA Inc., FutureWei Technologies Inc. and Skycom Tech Co. Ltd.

* Deutsche Telekom AG, the majority owner of T-Mobile US Inc., wants to renegotiate the terms of the U.S. wireless carrier's planned acquisition of Sprint Corp., London's Financial Times reports, citing people familiar with the matter. The German wireless carrier is reportedly seeking a lower price because Sprint's shares have been trading below their level since the merger agreement was announced in 2018.

* In other Huawei news, the company secured a 45-day extension from the U.S. Commerce Department that essentially deferred a ban on U.S. companies from doing business with Huawei. The temporary license will amend the export administration regulations to allow "specific, limited engagement" involving the "export, reexport, and transfer of items" to Huawei and its affiliates on the entity list until April 1.

Internet & OTT

* Instagram LLC is testing a "Latest Posts" feature, which will let users view the most recent pictures and videos from people they follow. The prototype, spotted by reverse engineer Jane Manchun Wong, is "similar but not the same," as a reverse chronological feed that users had been asking for, Wong noted in a tweet.

* Facebook Inc. rolled out a new photo- and video-sharing app called, Hobbi, which is meant to assist hobbyists organize pictures of projects into themed collections, TechCrunch.com reports.

* Amazon renewed its drama series "Bosch" for a seventh and final season, Michael Connelly, author of the book series the show is based upon, tweeted. The news about the show, starring Titus Welliver, comes ahead of its premiere on Amazon Prime Video.

* Tinder Inc. is experimenting with new social features in a bid to improve conversations among users, TechCrunch reports. A conversational prompt allows users to reply to questions or finish sentences, while another feature, "Share to Matches" makes sure that anything users share is exclusively received by their matches.

Multichannel

* CenturyLink Inc.'s strategic review of its consumer business is over, but the company said it has no deals to announce. In 2019, the company initiated a strategic review to examine how it could maximize value in the company's core enterprise business. As part of that review, executives said they were evaluating the future of the consumer business, and they indicated that asset sales were possible.

* Dan York, AT&T Inc.'s executive vice president and chief content officer, is stepping down, effective March 1, the Los Angeles Times reports, citing a company confirmation. Rob Thun, senior vice president of content and programming, is reportedly expected to succeed York.

Film & TV

* HBO (US) renewed its comedy series "Avenue 5," starring Hugh Laurie, for a second season. The renewal was announced by Executive Vice President HBO Programming Amy Gravitt, according to a Warner Media LLC statement.

* Hope Hicks is stepping down as Fox Corp.'s chief communications officer to rejoin the White House as "counselor to the president," The New York Times reports, citing administration officials. Hicks will work with the White House political director, Brian Jack, and report to Jared Kushner, U.S. President Donald Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser.

The day ahead

Early morning futures indicators pointed to a higher opening for the U.S. market.

In Asia, the Hang Seng was up 0.31% to 27,815.60, and the Nikkei 225 was down 0.59% to 23,687.59.

In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 rose 0.18% to 7,464.89, and the Euronext 100 inched up 0.05% to 1,176.68.

On the macro front

The retail sales report, the import and export prices report, the industrial production report, the business inventories report, the consumer sentiment report and the Baker-Hughes Rig Count are due out today.

Click here to read about today's financial markets, setting out the factors driving stocks, bonds and currencies around the world ahead of the New York open.

Featured news

The Daily Dose Europe: RBS to rebrand as NatWest; Crédit Agricole's i-bank boost; UBS begins CEO search: In today's Daily Dose: Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC unveiled its new strategy; Crédit Agricole SA's fourth-quarter net income rose 65% year over year to €1.66 billion; and UBS Group AG is said to have kicked off the search for a new CEO.

The Daily Dose Asia-Pacific: Vodafone, TPG merger update; SoftBank woes; new charges against Huawei: The merger of Vodafone Hutchison Australia Pty Ltd. and TPG Telecom Ltd. in Australia won federal court approval; SoftBank Group Corp.'s key investors are refusing to commit to the second Vision Fund; and U.S. prosecutors added trade secret theft charges to their case against Huawei.

Featured research

Global Multichannel: Virtual multichannel services shine in MENA, struggle in Sub-Saharan Africa: Kagan's survey of virtual multichannel and linear video value-added services in the Middle East and Africa region found 23 active offers provided by 19 local and regional operators, as of January 2020.

Global Multichannel: India broadband: DSL growth slows as fiber uptake accelerates: A look at India's fixed-line broadband market with a focus on revenue and average-revenue-per-user breakdown by broadband platform.

Economics of TV & Film: KBOX Week 6: 'Birds of Prey' fails to take flight: An R-rating, an overly long title, some bad marketing and a cast of lesser-known heroes resulted in "Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn" sporting the lowest opening weekend ever for a DC Extended Universe film.

Economics of TV & Film: Wilder-Fury rematch looks to pace PPV year: A look at events and movies on pay-per-view and video on demand in February.

Global Multichannel: Global market update — Venezuela: Kagan has recently updated Global Multichannel and Broadband analyses for Venezuela, as well as analyses for related operators CANTV, DIRECTV Venezuela, Telefónica Venezolana CA and Inter.

Technology: Survey shows global service providers' increasing emphasis on smart home: Global pay TV and broadband service providers are warming up to the idea of offering smart home capabilities to their subscribers.

Wireless Investor: Sprint, T-Mobile win in court — thanks to DISH: T-Mobile and Sprint's courtroom win brings their merger a step closer to completion. The deal could close as soon as April.

Recent earnings

NVIDIA fiscal Q4 revenue jumps 41% YOY; stock jumps after hours: The company said while the ultimate effect of the current coronavirus epidemic is difficult to estimate, it reduced its revenue outlook for the quarter by $100 million to account for the potential impact.

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