* Twilio Inc. agreed to buy digital communications platform SendGrid Inc. in an all-stock transaction valued at about $2 billion. At the exchange ratio of 0.485 share of Twilio class A common stock per share of SendGrid common stock, this price equates to about $36.92 per share based on Oct. 15 closing prices. The transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2019.
* Microsoft Corp. co-founder Paul Allen died from complications of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma on Oct. 15 at the age of 65. "Paul Allen's contributions to our company, our industry and to our community are indispensable. As co-founder of Microsoft, in his own quiet and persistent way, he created magical products, experiences and institutions, and in doing so, he changed the world," Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said.
* Senior cybersecurity officials will participate in events this week as a part of the federal government's work to raise awareness and ramp up its efforts on the issue. The month of advocacy is sponsored by the National Cyber Security Division of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the National Cyber Security Alliance, a nonprofit that works together with DHS on a public-private partnership to promote awareness and resources.
* Storm debris, power outages and significant fiber damage are hindering efforts to restore communications services in those counties most devastated by Hurricane Michael. As of Oct. 14, a number of counties along the Florida Panhandle had more than half of their cell sites down, including Bay County — home of Panama City and Mexico Beach, described as "ground zero" of the storm by U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency administrator Brock Long — where 66.1% of cell sites were down.
* Pay TV set-top boxes now use significantly less power, a fact tech policy experts attribute to regulators deferring to industry innovation. But future reductions will not be easy, requiring changes in equipment architecture and consumer expectations.
* Investment firm Hackman Capital Partners LLC is the winning bidder for CBS Corp.'s Los Angeles studio lot, Bloomberg News reports, citing people familiar with the matter. The sources said CBS would maintain its production facilities on the site after the sale.
* The American Cable Association asked the U.S. Justice Department to stop the divestiture of 21st Century Fox Inc.'s regional sports networks to a Big 4 TV station or a multichannel video programming distributor within the same local market as the RSN. The ACA argued that the sale of the regional sports networks would result in higher retail prices for traditional pay TV service. In June, the DOJ cleared Walt Disney Co.'s $71.3 billion deal to buy Fox entertainment assets with the condition that the combined entity will divest 22 regional sports networks.
* Facebook Inc. will now require advertisers who want to run ads related to politics in the U.K. to carry a "Paid for by" disclaimer. The move is intended to prevent the system from being used by bad actors who may want to spread misinformation, Richard Allan, vice president of global public policy, and Rob Leathern, director of product management, said in an official blog post.
* In related news, Facebook will ban misinformation regarding voting requirements and fact check reports of violence or other issues at polling stations ahead of the U.S. midterm elections in November, Reuters reports, citing company executives. The moves come amid concerns regarding the social network's efforts to tackle posts seeking to suppress voter turnout.
* Netflix Inc. green-lit series "Trinkets," based on the young adult novel by Kirsten Smith, who will also serve as an executive producer. The new series will follow three teenage girls who find themselves in the same mandated Shoplifters Anonymous meeting, the company said.
The day ahead
Early morning futures indicators pointed to a higher opening for the U.S. market.
In Asia, the Hang Seng gained 0.07% to 25,462.26 and the Nikkei 225 rose 1.25% to 22,549.24.
In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 shed 0.30% to 7,008.24 and the Euronext 100 rose 0.44% to 992.65.
On the macro front
The Redbook index for retail sales, the industrial production report, the housing market index, the Labor Department's Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey and the Treasury International Capital 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: ITV to launch SVOD service; Telia closes takeover of Get, TDC Norway: British broadcaster ITV PLC will roll out a subscription video-on-demand service in 2019, while Nordic telecom giant Telia Co. AB completed the takeover of Norwegian operators Get and TDC Norway.
Asia-Pacific: SoftBank to acquire WeWork stake; Tencent investing in Nubank: SoftBank Group Corp. is in talks to acquire a majority stake in WeWork Cos., while Tencent Holdings Ltd. is investing US$180 million to buy an undisclosed minority stake in Brazilian startup Nubank.
The Daily Dose Asia-Pacific: South Korea probing Google, Dolby; Xiaomi venturing into consumer financing: South Korea launched a probe against global companies including Dolby Laboratories Inc. and Google LLC, while Xiaomi Corp. is looking to enter the consumer finance and business-to-business lending space.
M&A Replay: Apple strikes deal with UK chipmaker; PE firm affiliate closes $2B Web.com deal: Apple Inc. struck a $600 million deal with Dialog Semiconductor PLC to acquire some of the British chipmaker's technologies, assets and employees, while Web.com Group Inc.'s $2 billion acquisition by an affiliate of Siris Capital Group LLC has been completed.
The Program Guide: Fox Nation unveils long-form programming; History expands nonfiction offering: Fox's streaming service Fox Nation unveiled its long-form programming lineup, while History (US) expanded its nonfiction programming slate with six renewals and five new series orders.
The week in OTT: 'Iron Fist' end Netflix run; Apple plans digital video service: Marvel's "Iron Fist" will not return for a third season on Netflix, while AT&T Inc. will launch a new direct-to-consumer streaming service in the fourth quarter of 2019.
M&A Replay: European deals: Comcast takes control of Sky; Apple to buy part of Dialog: U.S. cable giant Comcast Corp. has become the majority owner of British pay TV operator Sky PLC. Apple agreed to acquire part of chipmaker Dialog Semiconductor's business, including several facilities, engineers and employees.
The Week Ahead Europe: Brussels seeks more rights for gig economy workers: Members of the European Parliament's Committee on Employment and Social Affairs will vote this week on European Union-wide proposals to grant more protections for workers in the sharing economy, also referred to as the gig economy.
Wireless Investor: Finland mobile projections, 2018-2028: Elisa Oyj claims Europe's first 5G network launch in partnership with Huawei, as Telia Co. AB performs 5G trials.
Economics of TV & Film: 'The Nun' scares up big profit for Conjuring franchise: The slow start to the fall season trickled down to the results for September's film profit projections. Of the 14 wide-release films in September, only two of them are projected to earn a profit.
Economics of Networks: Linear carriage crucial for Hispanic, other targeted cable networks: Getting carriage on both traditional and virtual multichannel service providers is critical for most networks, as rolling out an online video service for a small channel typically will not make financial sense.
Economics of TV & Film: Kagan box office report, week 40: The fall box office season did a complete 180 in week 40 on the backs of "Venom" and "A Star is Born." Week 40's weekly box office increased 69.1% from $124.5 million in 2017 to $210.5 million in 2018.
Broadcast Investor: RAIN Summit Canada: Podcasting a potent ad revenue medium despite slow growth: Speakers during RAIN's inaugural summit in Canada shared survey results, CPM data and insights on the podcasting medium, which remains a valuable venue for advertisers to connect with listeners.
Economics of Internet: State of North American online video: SVOD: The OTT subscription video market in North America has grown tremendously over the past few years, and we expect continued increases in the next five years, led by the likes of Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu LLC and CraveTV.
Technology: Streaming media device ships slow as OTT streaming shifts to smart TVs: The market for streaming media devices is becoming increasingly murky as smart televisions continue to become more ubiquitous and consumers have fewer older televisions in need of an upgrade with a streaming media device.
The Best Of: Kagan research and analysis, editor's picks: Presenting the editor's top picks from Kagan's exclusive research and analysis for the week ended Oct. 12.
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