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Facebook's Libra woes; DOJ's Google probe; Apple's in-house studio

Top news

* Visa Inc., Mastercard Inc., Stripe Inc. and eBay Inc. dropped out of Facebook Inc.'s Libra Association, the Geneva-based group Facebook created to develop the virtual currency. The move comes after PayPal Holdings Inc. left the project earlier this month.

* The U.S. Department of Justice commenced a probe into Google LLC's $2.6 billion deal to acquire Looker Data Sciences Inc., Bloomberg News reports. The regulator is looking for more information from the Alphabet Inc. unit and Looker Data Sciences to determine whether the deal harms market competition. Looker will become part of Google Cloud upon the completion of the acquisition.

* Apple Inc. created its own in-house studio, which will be overseen by Worldwide Video heads Zack Van Amburg and Jamie Erlicht, The Hollywood Reporter reports. The unnamed studio will produce Apple's first in-house series "Masters of the Air," which will be a follow-up to HBO (US)'s "Band of Brothers" and "The Pacific" series.

Film & TV

* Warner Bros.' "Joker" raked in $55 million to retain the top spot at the domestic box office for the Oct. 11 weekend, with United Artists Releasing's "The Addams Family" at No. 2 with $30.3 million and Paramount Pictures Corp.'s "Gemini Man" at the third spot with $20.5 million, according to Comscore Inc. Universal's "Abominable" was at No. 4 with $6.2 million, while Focus Features LLC's "Downton Abbey" took the fifth spot with $4.9 million.

* Longtime AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc. CFO Craig Ramsey will retire from the company, effective Feb. 28, 2020. Ramsey, who became CFO of the company in 2000, will continue in the role until the effective date of his retirement, the company disclosed in an SEC filing.

* AT&T Inc. and Northwest Broadcasting Inc. resolved their eight-month retransmission consent dispute, Multichannel News reports, citing an official statement. The companies' failure to reach an agreement resulted in Northwest stations going dark for AT&T pay TV customers in 10 markets Feb. 22.

* Shepard Smith, chief news anchor of FOX News Channel (US) and managing editor of its breaking news unit, is leaving the channel, according to a news release. Smith said he asked the Fox Corp. unit to allow him to leave in a bid to start a new chapter.

Technology

* CommScope Holding Co. Inc. agreed to acquire base station antenna technology from Spain-based Fractus SA. The agreement includes a technology transfer of Fractus' entire worldwide portfolio of base station antenna patents to CommScope.

* Google barred apps from offering personal loans with an annual percentage rate of 36% or higher on its Google Play app store, The Wall Street Journal reports. The U.S. search giant said it made the change to protect people from deceptive and exploitative personal-loan terms.

Regulation

* The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission secured a restraining order to pause Telegram Group Inc.'s planned U.S. digital token offering of more than $1.7 billion. The SEC said Telegram and its unit TON Issuer Inc. violated U.S. securities laws by allegedly selling about 2.9 billion digital tokens, or "grams," with unregistered securities.

* Bruce Hoffman, director of the U.S. Federal Trade Commission's Bureau of Competition, will be leaving the agency in November after two years as head of the bureau. Ian Conner, the FTC competition bureau's deputy director, will succeed Hoffman.

The day ahead

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

In Asia, the Hang Seng advanced 0.81% to 26,521.85.

In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 slipped 0.54% to 7,208.26, and the Euronext 100 was down 0.79% to 1,085.52.

On the macro front

No notable reports 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: Endemol Shine sale update; court ruling on Mediaset; Facebook's UK tax: All3Media Ltd. and Disney are among those still in the running to bid for Endemol Shine Group Ltd.; a Spanish court ruled to halt Mediaset SpA's pan-European merger; and Facebook's 2018 tax payment in the U.K. drew criticism from members of Parliament.

The Daily Dose Asia-Pacific: Alibaba Cloud's cybersecurity M&A; Huawei suppliers' license; Japan's tech probe: Alibaba Cloud Computing Co. is acquiring a Beijing-based cybersecurity startup, licenses to companies dealing with Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. will be given if it does not harm the U.S. national security, and Japan wants to examine the data collection practices of Chinese tech giants.

MarketWeek: Netflix, Apple surge as streaming war intensifies; Slack up on user growth: Apple and Netflix Inc. notched gains this week as they geared up for a potential streaming war later this fall. Meanwhile, Slack Technologies Inc. shares inched up after the enterprise messaging company touted its growth in daily active users.

Data Dispatch: Regal, AMC bet on subscriptions to drive US admissions amid broad declines: Subscription movie ticket provider MoviePass Inc. is out of the business — at least for now — but major U.S. theater chains are counting on their own subscription services to keep admissions up amid broad declines in theater attendance.

Data Dispatch: 'Joker' to laugh off competition from 'Addams Family,' 'Gemini Man': "The Addams Family" and "Gemini Man" will open over the weekend of Oct. 11. Despite classic family-friendly IP and big-budget A-list power, neither are expected to overcome the dark reign of "Joker."

Editor's picks: CBS-Viacom deal, Zayo sale impact league table adviser rankings: Stories about telecom debt advisers and telecom M&A adviser rankings are featured in the editor's technology, media and telecommunications top picks for the week ended Oct. 11.

The Best Of: Most read: Netflix's UK focus; Disney's aggressive moves with streamers: Articles about Netflix's U.K. focus and Walt Disney Co.'s aggressive moves with other streamers were among the most read in technology, media and telecommunications news for the week ended Oct. 11.

The Week Ahead Europe: EU to hear big tech's copyright concerns: A trade body representing Google, Amazon.com Inc. and Facebook will meet EU Commissioner Vĕra Jourová this week as member states begin to implement the contentious Copyright Directive.

Featured research

Economics of TV & Film: Disney blockbusters top October VOD: A look at movies and events on video on demand and pay-per-view in October.

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.