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AT&T may ask DOJ antitrust chief to testify; Cisco to repatriate $67B cash pile

Top News

* AT&T Inc. added the name of Makan Delrahim, head of the U.S. Department of Justice's antitrust division, to a list of people the company may seek testimony from at the March 19 trial over the company's deal to buy Time Warner Inc., The Wall Street Journal reports, citing sources with knowledge of the matter. AT&T, which reportedly claims the deal is a vertical merger and does not seek to remove a rival from the market, argues that the DOJ is improperly enforcing the antitrust laws to block the deal.

* Analysts expect Cisco Systems Inc. to join the ranks of those reporting a boost in quarterly earnings related to changes to U.S. tax law when the company reports financial results on Feb. 14, leading to more share repurchases and M&A. The company plans to repatriate $67 billion of its overseas cash to the U.S. during its fiscal third quarter.

* Less than a year after launching YouTube TV, Google Inc. is increasing the price of its online service for new customers to $40 per month from $35 per month. The price will remain $35 per month for existing customers or those who sign up before March 13, the company said in an official blog post, adding that YouTube TV is also expanding to all top 100 U.S. markets. YouTube TV is also adding more channels to its lineup.

* The CW (US) is set to reintroduce original programming on Sundays this fall, The Wall Street Journal reports. The CBS Corp. and Time Warner joint venture, which also has a long-term licensing deal with Netflix Inc., will increase the number of hours of original programming on the network to 12 from Sunday through Friday.

Technology

* Apple Inc. is holding talks to buy NAND flash chips from Chinese company Yangtze Memory Technologies Co. Ltd., The Nikkei (Tokyo) reports. Sources with knowledge of the matter said Apple will use the chips for new iPhone models and other products for sale in the Chinese domestic market specifically.

* Microsoft Corp. unveiled a Microsoft for Startups program aimed at helping startups access technology and marketing expertise required to expand their customer base. According to an official blog post, the company has committed $500 million over the next two years to offer joint sales engagements with startups, along with access to new community spaces.

Internet & OTT

* Verizon Communications Inc. is offering a year of free access to Netflix to users signing up for Fios triple play for $79.99 per month online. The package will cover the cost of Netflix for up to $10.99 per month for new and existing Netflix subscribers, according to a company post.

* Netflix placed a fifth season order for "Grace and Frankie," Broadcasting & Cable reports. The series was produced by Skydance Television and stars Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, Martin Sheen and Sam Waterston. The new season will air in 2019.

* Netflix will premiere season four of "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt" on May 30, the company said. The first six episodes of the fourth season will become available on May 30, while the second half will launch later in 2018.

* Facebook Inc.'s Messenger Kids app is now available on Android devices in the U.S., according to a TechCrunch.com report. The app was initially available on iOS devices and Amazon.com Inc.'s Fire tablets.

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* Blucora Inc. named Davinder Athwal CFO of the company. Athwal succeeded Eric Emans who has been serving in a consulting role with Blucora since stepping down as CFO in late 2017, the company said. Emans will remain in his current consulting role through May 31 to assist with the transition.

The day ahead

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

In Asia, the Hang Seng grew 1.97% to 31,115.43, and the Nikkei 225 was up 1.47% to 21,464.98.

In Europe, as of midday, the FTSE 100 was up 0.58% to 7,255.48, and the Euronext 100 had climbed 1.02% to 1,011.90.

On the macro front

The jobless claims report, the PPI-FD report, the Empire State Mfg Survey, the industrial production report, the National Association of Home Builders' housing market index, the EIA natural gas report, the Fed balance sheet and the money supply report are due out today.

Featured news

The Daily Dose Europe: Fox under pressure to raise Sky offer; Chinese firm buys stake in Mediapro: 21st Century Fox Inc. is under pressure to boost its takeover offer for Sky plc following the latter's acquisition of Premier League rights, while Orient Hontai Capital closed a deal to acquire a majority stake in Mediapro.

The Daily Dose Asia-Pacific: Baidu confirms US IPO for streaming service; Apple may source chips from China: Baidu Inc. confirmed plans for a U.S. listing of its streaming service iQiyi, while Apple is holding talks to buy NAND flash chips from a Chinese company.

The Program Guide: Global edition: HBO Europe orders 'Success'; ITV commissions 'Singapore Grip': Amazon.com is teaming up with Liberty Global plc for a dystopian thriller, while ITV Plc commissioned "The Singapore Grip," an epic story set during World War II.

Voice automation gains ground in retail, transportation, other industries: Smart speakers and voice automation software are more and more starting to transcend beyond the connected home as these emerging technologies are increasingly used to actualize the internet of things across different industries.

Featured research

Multichannel Trends: Telco HSD market share tumbles, but fiber shows signs of turnaround: DSL defections have weighed on the telco high-speed data universe in the past three years, hitting its wireline market share in a majority of markets. However, the sector is bucking the trend in some midsize markets where it has deployed fiber.

The Daily Dose is updated as of 7 a.m. ET. Some external links may require a subscription.