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US civilian drone program; Apple's Daisy robot; US officials' Britain visit


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US civilian drone program; Apple's Daisy robot; US officials' Britain visit

Top News

* The U.S. Interior Department is planning to halt a civilian drone program on concerns regarding the use of Chinese technology in these drones, London's Financial Times reports, citing two people familiar with the matter. The Trump administration is of the view that China could use the program's roughly 1,000 civilian drones for spying purposes.

* Apple Inc. is looking to reduce reliance on the mining industry by using a robot to disassemble iPhones so that minerals can be recovered and reused, Reuters reports. The robot, called Daisy, disassembles iPhones in a way that 14 minerals, including lithium, can be extracted and recycled.

* A U.S. delegation, which is expected to include Deputy National Security Adviser Matt Pottinger, is set to visit the U.K to convince Britain not to use Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. equipment in the upgrade of its telecoms network, Reuters reports, citing two people with knowledge of the details. The U.K. is close to taking a final decision regarding the use of Huawei's equipment in its future 5G networks.

Film & TV

* Comcast Corp.'s NBC News is shutting down Peacock Productions, its in-house unscripted production unit, which develops and produces platinum-tier lifestyle and reality programs and documentaries, reports. The unit will close March 2, an NBC News representative reportedly said.

* ESPN Inc. is not making it easy for fans to choose the view they want of the College Football Playoff National Championship. The Walt Disney Co.'s sports programmer will deliver 15 different linear and digital options of the contest between No. 1 LSU and No. 3 Clemson on Jan. 13.

* The CW (US) promoted President Mark Pedowitz to chairman and CEO of the network. Pedowitz joined The CW as president in 2011.

* Universal's "1917" soared to the top of the domestic box office with $36.5 million for the Jan. 10 weekend. Disney's "Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker" moved down to the second spot with about $15.1 million, followed by Sony Corp.'s "Jumanji: The Next Level" in the third spot with $14 million, according to Comscore Inc. Meanwhile, Paramount Pictures Corp.'s "Like A Boss" and Warner Bros.' "Just Mercy" pulled in $10 million each for the weekend.

Internet & OTT

* Verizon Communications Inc. is done with downsizing its Oath business and is looking to grow its online media unit in three verticals: advertising, subscriptions and transactions, Guru Gowrappan, CEO of Verizon Media, said at CES 2020.

* Hulu LLC's original teen sci-fi drama, "Utopia Falls," will premiere Feb. 14. The series, which will feature the voice of Snoop Dogg, will comprise of 10 one-hour episodes.

* Inc. fired several employees for sharing customer email address and phone numbers with a third-party, the company confirmed the development in an email to TechCrunch. Amazon also issued an email to customers, informing them about the incident.

* ViacomCBS Inc.'s streaming service, CBS All Access, ordered reboots of its three classic shows, "Mr. Magoo," "George of the Jungle" and "Lassie," Variety reports. New editions of these shows will all be available on the platform from Jan. 17.


* Foldable devices were all the rage at CES 2020, the Consumer Technology Association's annual technology and media trade show. Major hardware manufacturers including Intel Corp., Dell Technologies Inc. and Lenovo Group Ltd. have all jumped on to the foldable-device bandwagon, unveiling a range of new products at this year's CES.

* Atlantic Broadband signed a definitive agreement to acquire Thames Valley Communications Inc., a broadband services company operating in southeastern Connecticut, for an undisclosed sum. The transaction is expected to close within three months.

* David Drummond, senior vice president of corporate development, chief legal officer and secretary of Alphabet Inc., is leaving the company, effective Jan. 31. The company has not yet named a replacement.

* Nielsen Holdings PLC completed the acquisition of Toronto-based merchandising and analytics solutions provider Precima Inc. from Alliance Data Systems Corp. Under the deal, Precima's employees will be integrated into the Nielsen Global Connect organization.

The day ahead

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

In Asia, the Hang Seng increased 1.11% to 28,954.94, while the Nikkei 225 was closed.

In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 was up 0.23% to 7,605.06, and the Euronext 100 was down 0.04% to 1,156.90.

On the macro front

The Treasury budget is 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: LinkedIn's Irish expansion; Mediaset plan update; ruling on Belgian telcos' JV: LinkedIn Corp. is expanding its European headquarters in Dublin, Mediaset SpA shareholders approved changes to the broadcaster's pan-European plans, and the Belgian antitrust regulator halted a joint venture between Proximus and Orange Belgium SA.

The Daily Dose Asia-Pacific:'s HK listing; China Mobile in India; Taiwan president's reelection: Group Ltd., NetEase Inc. and NetEase Inc. are considering secondary stock market listings in Hong Kong, China Mobile Ltd. is looking to enter the Indian market, and Tsai Ing-wen was reelected as Taiwan's president.

MarketWeek: AMC craters as CFO warns of tough 2020; Memory-chip maker Micron surges: A Cowen analyst this week upgraded Micron Technology Inc. shares, saying the company's DRAM business shows particular promise. AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc. CFO Craig Ramsey, meanwhile, prepared investors for what could be a rocky year for the U.S. movie theater owner.

Hires and Fires Asia-Pacific: SoftBank board loses Uniqlo founder; South Korean telco KT picks next CEO: UNIQLO Co., Ltd. founder Tadashi Yanai stepped down from SoftBank Group Corp.'s board after 18 years, while South Korean telecom operator KT Corp. selected its next CEO.

The Best Of: Editor's picks: Big tech's 2020 spending strategies; T-Mobile's higher churn: Stories about big tech's 2020 spending strategies and T-Mobile US Inc.'s higher-than-expected churn at the end of 2019 are featured in the editor's technology, media and telecommunications top picks for the week ended Jan. 10.

The Best Of: Most read: AT&T preps for HBO Max; Facebook, Apple defend policies: Articles about AT&T Inc. unit Warner Media LLC's preparations for streaming service HBO Max and big tech companies' defense of industry privacy policies were among the most read in technology, media and telecommunications news for the week ended Jan. 10.

Data Dispatch: '1917' trying to turn Golden Globes wins into box office green: Between buzz from critics and awards shows, "1917" is expected to lead the Jan. 10 weekend box office, knocking Disney's "Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker" out of the first-place position it has held for three weeks running.

Featured research

Wireless Investor: Latin America towers, small cell projections through 2029: As the region continues to expand into rural areas and activate low and medium-spectrum bands over the next decade, traditional towers will continue to dominate in Latin America over small cells.

The Daily Dose has an editorial deadline of 7:30 a.m. ET. Some external links may require a subscription. Links are current as of publication time, and we are not responsible if those links are unavailable later.