* Microsoft Corp. has acquired PromoteIQ, a provider of marketing technology to online retailers and brands, for an undisclosed sum. PromoteIQ will maintain its brand and become a division within Microsoft Advertising, according to an official blog post.
* Univision Communications Inc. is in "the very early stages" of a formal auction process, New York Post reports, citing a source with knowledge of the matter. The process is being led by Morgan Stanley, Moelis & Co. and LionTree and was initiated after the company failed to sell itself for more than $10 billion.
* As wireless operators begin turning on next-generation 5G networks, the combination of faster mobile broadband speeds and massive data loads is expected to drive an emerging technology: edge computing. Edge computing aims to make data processing more efficient by cutting down on the distance information must travel.
* Although their contract expired last week, Walt Disney Co. and Charter Communications Inc. remain engaged in discussions to forge a new distribution deal that could include carriage of upcoming sports channel ACC Network. The parties continue to have positive conversations and there has not been any disruption in services, according to sources familiar with the situation.
* New Media Investment Group Inc. agreed to buy USA Today owner Gannett Co Inc. in a cash-and-stock transaction. Gannett shareholders will receive $6.25 in cash and 0.5427 of a New Media share for each Gannett share they hold, representing a total consideration of $12.06 per Gannett common share based on New Media's stock price as of Aug. 2. The price is a premium of about 18% to the five-day volume-weighted average price of Gannett shares as of that date.
* Democrat Senators Mark Warner and Jack Reed questioned U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper on why the award of a $10 billion cloud computing contract was delayed, Reuters reports. In a letter to Esper, the senators asked why the contract was being reviewed and if someone outside of the Pentagon had directed Esper to delay or cancel the contract.
* Blue Ant Media Inc. unit Omnia Media Inc. has bought WiseCrack Inc., a digital video and podcasting company, for an undisclosed sum, Variety reports. WiseCrack will continue to operate as its own brand following the transaction.
* AT&T Inc. has teamed up with Spotify Technology SA to offer Spotify Premium as a free option to subscribers of the AT&T Unlimited & More Premium plan. Select AT&T customers can also sign up for a six-month free trial of Spotify Premium, according to a news release.
Internet & OTT
* Alphabet Inc. unit Google LLC has shut down its Trips app. However, the company has incorporated Trips app features in Google Search and Google Maps.
* Netflix Inc. has pulled the plug on mystery thriller "The OA" after two seasons, TechCrunch reports. The series starred Brit Marling as a blind woman who disappeared seven years ago only to suddenly return with her sight restored.
* Free streaming service Tubi Inc. has kicked off a marketing campaign with billboards in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Detroit, Variety reports, citing a company announcement. The campaign also includes digital advertising as well as ad spots on TV and in cabs.
The day ahead
Early morning futures indicators pointed to a higher opening for the U.S. market.
In Asia, Hang Seng dropped 0.67% to 25,976.24, while the Nikkei 225 shed 0.65% to 20,585.31.
In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 rose 0.02% to 7,224.90, and the Euronext 100 gained 0.67% to 1,032.69.
On the macro front
The Redbook Index for retail sales and the JOLTS report 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.
The Daily Dose Europe: Concerns over Facebook's Libra; Axel Springer deal; Vivendi, Tencent talks: Privacy regulators raised concerns about Facebook Inc.'s upcoming Libra cryptocurrency, KKR & Co. has exceeded the minimum acceptance threshold in its offer for Germany's Axel Springer SE, and Vivendi SA is in talks with Tencent Holdings Ltd. for a stake sale.
The Daily Dose Asia-Pacific: Flipkart in streaming venture; Huawei's Hongmeng phone; Embark Studios takeover: Flipkart Online Services Pvt. Ltd. is launching its own video streaming service in India, Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. is testing a smartphone equipped with the company's OS, and NEXON Co. Ltd. plans to completely acquire Swedish game developer Embark Studios AB.
Q&A: Ooyala exec: APAC content creators should avoid Google, Facebook agreements: More regulation and less reliance on U.S. tech giants could help Asia-Pacific content creators survive in the region's highly competitive market, according to Ooyala Inc. Vice President for APAC and Japan Patricio Cummins.
The Week in OTT: HBO Max gets 'Doctor Who'; Netflix renews '13 Reasons Why': HBO Max acquired exclusive streaming rights to all 11 seasons of BBC's"Doctor Who," while Netflix has renewed drama series "13 Reasons Why" for a fourth and final season.
Global Multichannel: European broadcasters pursue M&A to build global scale: Mediaset SpA's merger hints toward further consolidation in European broadcasting.
Economics of Networks: Most cable networks license fees nominal in comparison to industry giants: Multichannel operators have a difficult time coming up with compelling, affordable video packages, given the top 10 networks generate almost 50% of license fees.
Multichannel Trends: OTT, virtual TV competition shifts MSO focus away from TV Everywhere live linear: As of first quarter 2019, approximately 78.8 million digital subscribers had access to some degree of multichannel video programming distributor-hosted live linear networks via TV Everywhere service extensions.
Take-Two Interactive raises full-year outlook; fiscal Q1 revenue jumps 39% YOY: Take-Two Interactive Software Inc.'s fiscal first-quarter revenue increased to $540.5 million from $388.0 million a year ago.
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