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Samsung kills Galaxy Note 7 production; Google faces probe in Korea

TOP NEWS

* Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. is permanently ending production and sales of its Galaxy Note 7 smartphone worldwide, Yonhap News Agency reports. Galaxy Note 7 users in South Korea can get either a full refund or exchange their handsets for a different model or brand, while U.S. customers can get a full refund or switch to the Samsung Group unit’s Galaxy S7 or Galaxy S7 Edge. The decision comes shortly after the company asked its retail partners worldwide to halt all sales and exchanges as it addressed new reports of devices catching fire.

* The Korea Fair Trade Commission will scrutinize Alphabet Inc. unit Google Inc.'s contracts with phone manufacturers regarding its Android operating system to determine whether the company breached competition rules. KFTC Chairman Jeong Jae-chan said the antitrust watchdog would investigate whether Android device manufacturers were forced to pre-install Google's proprietary apps, according to Financial News.

PAN-ASIAN NEWS

* Microsoft Corp. named Tara Bal as its new communications director for the Asia-Pacific, where she will oversee South Korea, Southeast Asia, Australia and New Zealand. According to Marketing Interactive, Bal was previously communications head for Asia-Pacific and Japan at NetApp Inc., a California-based data management firm.

JAPAN

* Independent music label network and rights agency Merlin Network Ltd. opened a new office in Japan as part of an expansion into Asia's digital music market. Haji Taniguchi, former president of Avex Music Publishing Inc., will head the Tokyo office as general manager.

* Japan's Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications will take spillage countermeasures on TV radio waves in 2017, The Nikkei reports. As high-definition 4K and 8K broadcasting expands, the possibility of damage caused by wave spillage is also expected to increase. The Ministry will set standards on signal strength to prevent any negative effects on mobile phones and GPS.

* Nippon Broadcasting System Inc. and anime pay TV channel provider Animax Broadcast Japan Inc. will start live-streaming programs using a Twitter Inc. app, The Nikkei reports. The content will also be made available on Animax's website.

SOUTH KOREA

* South Korean public service broadcaster Arirang TV launched its HD feed on Sky plc in the U.K. and Ireland, Broadband TV News reports. The HD channel is supported by Orange SA's media solutions provider unit Globecast.

* Hong Kong-based channels group Celestial Tiger Entertainment will launch the Celestial Movies channel in South Korea, Variety reports. The Chinese-language movie channel will be fully subtitled in Korean and aired through SK Broadband's linear service B tv and through its OTT services B tv Plus and Oksusu. L.A.-based Saban Entertainment, Astro unit Astro Overseas Ltd. and Lionsgate Entertainment jointly own CTE.

* South Korea's terrestrial TV networks will resume supplying video-on-demand content to cable TV operator CMB and region-specific cable TV system operators as they decided to start negotiating service extension options, Digital Times reports. The networks previously suspended VOD supply due to disagreements over setting costs per subscriber.

CHINA, HONG KONG AND TAIWAN

* Bliss Media, a Shanghai-based movie distributor, issued a statement in response to a lawsuit filed by U.S. studio Das Film that alleges breach of contract for the movie "Smart Chase." Bliss said the two companies terminated contracts before the movie was shot, therefore Bliss was free to replace Das Film with another production company.

* Samsung China is recalling 190,984 Galaxy Note 7 phones sold in the country, two days after being summoned by China's General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine, Caixin News reports. Customers can choose to receive compensation to buy another Samsung model, or request a refund.

* Shanghai-based business cloud service provider Qiniu introduced U.S.-based data centers to meet demand from a growing number of Chinese clients doing businesses in North America. The data centers allow stored information in the region to be processed locally to boost speed.

SOUTHEAST ASIA

* Tata Communications Ltd., the communication business arm of Indian conglomerate Tata Group, is looking to set up cloud data centers in Malaysia and the Middle East in the next six to 12 months, The Economic Times (India) reports.

* Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte is threatening to break up the country's telco duopoly if Globe Telecom and PLDT Inc. fail to improve their services, The Manila Times reports. Duterte warned that he may bring in competitors from China unless complaints about slow internet speeds are addressed.

* The Indonesian Commission for the Supervisory of Business Competition, known as KPPU, suggested that telcos PT XL Axiata Tbk and PT Indosat Ooredoo merge, Kompas reports. KPPU, which suspects a cross-ownership between the two operators, found the two companies set very similar tariffs outside Java.

* Thailand's National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission threatened to suspend the licenses of the 166 cable and satellite TV operators who have yet to pay their fees, Post Today reports. The NBTC reportedly said the accumulated fees amount to 104 million Thai baht.

* Thailand's Securities and Exchange Commission blacklisted all board members of Nation Multimedia Group Plc, Krungthep Turakij reports. As a result, TRIS Rating Co. Ltd. downgraded the group's credit rating to BB+, citing the group’s power vacuum and inability to pay off debts.

* Yustinus Prastowo, executive director of the Center for Indonesia Taxation Analysis, known as CITA, said the Indonesian telco industry faces a potential loss of 14 trillion Indonesian rupiah if network sharing regulations are implemented, Indotelko reports. He claimed that the new regulations will trigger unhealthy business competition.

* Thai telecom investment company Intouch Holdings Plc invested an undisclosed amount in Social Nation Inc., a U.S.-based advertising tech startup, Prachachat reports. Social Nation will reportedly use the funds to further develop virtual reality advertising and 360-degree video advertising. Intouch is the parent company of Thai telco AIS.

* Malaysian telco Telkom International Sdn Bhd, known as Telin Malaysia, added GTEL Network Sdn Bhd as its dealer partner to help penetrate the local market, according to Indotelko. Telin Malaysia, a subsidiary of Indonesian state-owned telco PT Telekomunikasi Indonesia Tbk, targets three market segments in Malaysia: plantation workers, travelers and conventional outlets.

AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND

* Telstra Corp. Ltd. chairman John Mullen took a swipe at Vodafone Group Plc's Australian unit during Telstra's annual general meeting, saying one of its competitors is trying to establish regulations that would close a "competitive gap," iTWire reports. This comes after the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission launched an inquiry into whether it should regulate mobile roaming services in the country.

* Sydney-based advertising firm oOh!media is acquiring Australian digital display network Executive Channel Network for A$68.5 million, The Australian Financial Review reports. ECN airs advertising, news and other information in elevators and lobbies across 280 locations in the country. The deal is expected to be completed in the coming weeks.

* Australian gambling operator Tabcorp Holdings Ltd. increased its bid to remain in competition with Racing Victoria and Seven West Media Ltd. joint venture Racing.com for racing broadcast rights in Australia and New Zealand. According to SBCNews, Tabcorp is willing to pay A$26 million for racing content rights in Western Australia for six years, which is approximately 10 times the amount of its current deal.

INDIA AND SOUTH ASIA

* The Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission demanded the immediate suspension of IPTV and VOD services in the country, The Daily Star reports. The regulator is threatening legal action against internet service providers that do not heed the order.

* Indian mobile operator Tata Teleservices was awarded spectrum in the 1,800-MHz band in the Mumbai and Maharashtra service areas for 24.4 billion and 15.9 billion Indian rupees, respectively. According to Telecompaper, the spectrum license is valid for 20 years.

* Mumbai-based studio Dharma Productions will start making advertisements through Dharma 2.0, a separate in-house division, The Economic Times (India) reports. One of its first clients is Indian telco Reliance Jio, a unit of Reliance Industries Ltd.

FEATURED NEWS

Hires and Fires: Asia-Pacific Media & Comm moves through Oct. 10: Alibaba, NBN, AIS: S&P Global Market Intelligence presents a monthly rundown of executive and board changes in the Asia-Pacific media and communications industries.

Africa and Middle East video spotlight: YouTube debuts hub for African TV series: In this monthly feature, S&P Global Market Intelligence provides a roundup of news related to over-the-top, video-on-demand and other online video initiatives in different African and Middle Eastern markets.

Tech Time: Alphabet units, others form AI partnership: In this feature, S&P Global Market Intelligence presents a bi-weekly global roundup of the latest developments in technology.

The Daily Dose: Apple, Samsung set for Supreme Court; Salesforce.com may not bid for Twitter: Apple and Samsung will face off at the U.S. Supreme Court today, while Salesforce.com may not bid for Twitter after facing opposition from investors and executives.

The Daily Dose Europe: Bolloré ups Vivendi stake; Vodafone launches Vodafone Pay in UK: Bolloré Group raised its holding in Vivendi above the 20% threshold, while Vodafone launched Vodafone Pay in the U.K., in partnership with PayPal.

Q&A: Virtual reality exec: ‘Mixed reality will become the standard’: S&P Global Market Intelligence sat down with Anthony Karydis, founder and CEO of Mativision, to discuss the impact of virtual reality and augmented reality on the future of the industry.

Trump-Clinton II: Second-most-watched second debate since 1992: The contentious second presidential debate between Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton and Republican nominee Donald Trump on Oct. 9 drew 66.5 million viewers.

FEATURED RESEARCH

Economics of Internet: State of Malaysian online video: Subscription: As with many Asian markets, Malaysia's demand for internet access exceeds the capabilities of its infrastructure. However, video-on-demand subscriptions continue to grow.

Global Multichannel: Sky future-proofing through OTT platform expansion: By buying in to digital platforms to alleviate the risk from disruptive services closely connected to its core entertainment business, Sky plc is laying a necessary foundation for global growth.

Economics of Advertising: Print ad revenue for business publications to fall below $2B in 2016: For the first time in over three decades, print advertising revenues from the business publications sector is expected to drop below the $2 billion mark in 2016 at $1.99 billion, down 3.4% year over year.

Nozomi Ibayashi, Myungran Ha, Frances Wang, Wil Hathaway and Ed Eduard contributed to this report. The Daily Dose has an editorial deadline of 7 a.m. Hong Kong time. Some external links may require a subscription.