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Other government agencies join DOJ in Facebook probe; Fox's RSNs in play


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Other government agencies join DOJ in Facebook probe; Fox's RSNs in play

Top News

* The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Federal Trade Commission have joined the U.S. Department of Justice in its investigation into Facebook Inc.'s sharing of user data with political consultancy firm Cambridge Analytica LLC, The Washington Post reports, citing people familiar with the official inquiries. Questions being asked are related to what Facebook knew before it publicly acknowledged the data sharing and why the company did not disclose what it had learned to its users and investors. The sources said that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's recent Capitol Hill testimony is also being scrutinized as part of the probe.

* With 21st Century Fox Inc.'s 22 regional sports networks set to go up for resale should Walt Disney Co.'s offer to buy much of FOX's entertainment assets win approval from shareholders, it remains unclear which company — or companies — will have the resources to buy the sports network portfolio. The valuation of the RSNs has ballooned to $20.6 billion amid a bidding war between Disney and Comcast Corp., according to Kagan, a media research group within S&P Global Market Intelligence; and it could go even higher if Comcast makes another competing offer.

* Alphabet Inc.'s Google Inc. still allows hundreds of third-party software developers to scan the inboxes of millions of Gmail users for information to personalize advertisements, The Wall Street Journal reports, citing the findings of an internally conducted examination. Some of these developers program their computers to automatically scan Gmail inboxes, while in some cases, emails are manually read.


* Facebook is acquiring London-based artificial intelligence startup Bloomsbury AI Ltd., in a cash-and-stock deal worth between $23 million and $30 million, TechCrunch reports, citing multiple sources. The social networking giant plans to tap into Bloomsbury AI's team and technology to tackle fake news and other content issues on its platform.

* In more Facebook news, a bug in Facebook and Messenger unblocked some users who had previously been blocked. In a blog post, Facebook Chief Privacy Officer Erin Egan said the bug was active between May 29 and June 5 and affected more than 800,000 users.

Internet & OTT

* AT&T Inc.'s DIRECTV Now streaming service is set to raise its prices by $5 on all packages, following price hikes from DISH Network Corp.'s Sling TV and Google Inc.'s YouTube TV, the company told TechCrunch. AT&T recently launched another streaming service, called WatchTV, which will cost $15 a month on a stand-alone basis.

* Sports-first livestreaming service fuboTV launched 4K HDR10 support in beta on all Google Chromecast and Inc.'s Fire TV devices that support the format. Support for the format kicked off June 2 with the broadcasts of World Cup matches from Russia 2018 on FOX and FS1. FuboTV will roll out on Roku Inc. and Apple Inc.'s Apple TV devices in the coming weeks as well.

The day ahead

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

In Asia, the Hang Seng fell 1.41% to 28,545.57, while the Nikkei 225 dropped 0.12% to 21,785.54.

In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 climbed 0.58% to 7,591.56, and the Euronext 100 gained 0.93% to 1,045.47.

On the macro front

The motor vehicle sales report, the Redbook Index for retail sales and the factory orders report are due out today.

Featured news

The Daily Dose Europe: CK Hutchison to fully acquire Wind Tre; BBC, Channel 4 discuss UKTV takeover bid: CK Hutchison Holdings Ltd. agreed to acquire Wind Tre SpA's 50% stake from VEON, while BBC and Channel 4 are in talks for a potential £500 million bid for UKTV.

The Daily Dose Asia-Pacific: Trump to block China Mobile's US entry; HTC to shed a quarter of its workforce: The Trump administration wants to bar China Mobile Ltd.'s entry into the U.S. on grounds of national security concerns, while HTC Corp. is laying off around a quarter of its global workforce to manage costs better.

The week in OTT: Verizon to shutter go90; Samsung TVs get Discovery's GO apps: Verizon Communications Inc. will shutter its ad-supported mobile video service go90 on July 31, while Discovery Inc.'s TV Everywhere GO apps launched on select Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. smart TVs.

M&A Replay: Gray, Raycom agree to merge; AT&T buying AppNexus: S&P Global Market Intelligence provides a wrap-up of U.S. companies' media and communications deal announcements and completions from June 25 to June 29.

The US Week Ahead: Weighing mobile location privacy ahead of Independence Day: While most lawmakers have left Washington, D.C., to celebrate the week of July 4th in their home states, the Center on Privacy and Technology will discuss location privacy after the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Carpenter v. United States.

The Week Ahead Europe: EU Parliament votes to suspend US data framework: The European Parliament is due to vote this week on a resolution that calls for the EU-US Privacy Shield, which governs transatlantic data flows, to be suspended if the U.S. fails to comply by September.

Featured research

Economics of Internet: Profile: Youku (China): In terms of paying subscribers, Youku is the trailing member of the three dominant players in the Chinese streaming video market.

Consumer Insights: Streaming media players and sticks are top in home streaming device ownership: Excluding mobile devices, streaming media boxes/sticks are the most common streaming device among U.S. internet households.

Economics of Advertising: Red Sox lift NESN to top spots in May RSN prime-time ratings: The on-field performance of the Boston Red Sox helped boost New England Sports Network, or NESN, to the top two spots in prime-time ratings for regional sports networks in May.

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