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Facebook CEO discusses data scandal; Google developing blockchain-related tech


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Facebook CEO discusses data scandal; Google developing blockchain-related tech

Top News

* Facebook Inc. CEO Mark Zuckerberg broke his silence on a scandal involving the misuse of personal user data by a developer that has shaken investor confidence and led to a growing number of calls for investigations and more government regulation of social media companies. In a Facebook post, Zuckerberg admitted that his company made mistakes regarding user privacy and outlined the steps it plans to take to restore users' trust. These include having more transparency about apps with access to user data and more limitations on how much of that data is accessible to app developers, and how long those developers can access it.

* Alphabet Inc. unit Google Inc. is developing a blockchain-related technology to support its cloud business, Bloomberg News reports, citing sources with knowledge of the matter. The U.S. search giant is developing its own distributed digital ledger that third parties can use to post and verify transactions, one of the sources said.

* A decision by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission to investigate Facebook's privacy protections may not have a large immediate impact on the company's financials. Yet any regulatory action could have broader implications for the tech sector.

* The Federal Communications Commission is seeking input on whether to modify or eliminate the 39% national audience reach cap, which prohibits a single broadcast station group from owning TV stations that together reach more than 39% of U.S. TV households. In comments on the proceeding, which were due this week, interested parties were torn over whether the agency could and should change the cap.


* Meredith Corp. is planning to sell several media assets and eliminate about 1,200 positions. The company, which completed its acquisition of Time Inc. in January, is exploring the sale of the TIME, Sports Illustrated, Fortune and Money brands, the company said.

Internet & OTT

* Michael Coates, Twitter Inc.'s chief information security officer, is leaving the company. Announcing the move in a tweet, Coates said he is leaving Twitter to co-found a security startup.

* Uber Technologies Inc. withdrew its job offer to former Inc. executive Assaf Ronen after finding a discrepancy related to his tenure at the online retailer, Recode reports, citing a memo from Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi. According to sources, Uber had assumed that Ronen was still working for Amazon at the time of hiring, while he had already left the company by then.

TV Networks

* Walt Disney Co.'s ABC (US) lost rights to the Indianapolis 500 after a period of 54 years. Comcast Corp.'s NBC Sports Inc. signed a multiyear deal with INDYCAR to become the circuit's exclusive media rights holder. NBC (US) will broadcast the Indianapolis 500 for the first time on May 26, 2019, Mark Lazarus, chairman of NBC Broadcasting & Sports, said in an official post.


* The European Commission has unveiled plans to introduce a new tax rate in the European Union for tech companies, set at 3% of their global revenues. The proposed tax will be levied on earnings from online advertising, impacting Google and Facebook, as well as on earnings from subscriber fees charged by service providers such as Apple Inc. and, and from the sale of data generated from user-provided information to third parties.


* Executive Jimmy Iovine will move into a consulting role at Apple in August, The Wall Street Journal reports, citing sources with knowledge of his plans. Sources said the music producer will step away from daily involvement with Apple's streaming music business.

The day ahead

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

In Asia, the Hang Seng fell 1.09% to 31,071.05, and the Nikkei 225 was up 0.99% to 21,591.99.

In Europe, as of midday, the FTSE 100 was down 0.60% to 6,996.71, and the Euronext 100 fell 0.92% to 1,014.11.

On the macro front

The jobless claims report, the FHFA house price index, the PMI Composite Flash report, the leading indicators report, the EIA natural gas report, the Kansas City fed manufacturing index, the fed balance sheet and the money supply report are due out today.

Featured news

The Daily Dose Europe: EU proposes 3% tech turnover tax; Telenor sells central, eastern Europe ops: The European Commission plans to impose a 3% tax on the global revenues of tech companies such as Google and Facebook, while Norwegian operator Telenor ASA agreed to sell its assets in central and eastern Europe to PPF Group NV.

The Daily Dose Asia-Pacific: Tencent to acquire 5% of Ubisoft; US to hit China with $30B in annual tariffs: Tencent Holdings Ltd. will acquire a 5% stake in French game developer Ubisoft Entertainment SA, while the White House is preparing to make it "significantly more difficult" for Chinese companies to acquire advanced U.S. technology or invest in American companies.

Hires and Fires: AMC Entertainment names new chairman; tronc chairman to retire: AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc. appointed Maojun Zeng as nonexecutive chairman of the board. Michael Ferro is retiring as chairman of tronc Inc.'s board.

M&A Replay: Asia-Pacific: SoftBank takes Charter stake; Tencent buys into production company: SoftBank Group Corp. quietly acquired a nearly 5% stake in Charter Communications Inc., while Tencent acquired 27.64% of local TV and film producer New Classics Media Corp.

Featured research

Global Multichannel: Global markets update – Poland, Hungary, Dominican Republic, North America: Kagan has published updated Global Multichannel & Broadband analysis for three markets and one regional summary.

Global Multichannel: Japan broadband outlook: fiber to further subscriber and ARPU growth: Japan leads the East Asian region with the highest average blended monthly ARPU of $29.84 in 2017, and ranks as the world's third-largest fixed-broadband market after China and the United States.

Technology: Samsung smart TV shipments decline despite double-digit growth in overall market: Smart TV shipment growth in North America continued in 2017 as unit shipments grew 11% from 2016.

The Daily Dose is updated as of 7 a.m. ET. S&P Global Market Intelligence provides links to external sites where these offer further, relevant information to our readers. While we ensure that such links are functional at the time of publication, we are not responsible in instances where those links are unavailable later.