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Comcast eyeing DreamWorks; FBI arrests former EPIX digital chief on fraud charges


MediaTalk | Season 2
EP 22 - Warner Bros. Discovery on the Summer Games and the World


Next in Tech | Ep. 176: Challenges in Critical Infrastructure Security


MediaTalk | Season 2
EP 21 - Expectations for the Summer Games: Streaming, Ad Spending, Swimming in the Seine


Next in Tech | Ep. 175: Metaverse Advances

Comcast eyeing DreamWorks; FBI arrests former EPIX digital chief on fraud charges


* is holdingtalks to acquireDreamWorks Animation SKGInc. in a deal worth more than $3 billion, The Wall Street Journal reports,citing sources with knowledge of the details. The animation studio would bringfranchises like "Kung Fu Panda" and "How to Train YourDragon," as well as digital network AwesomenessTV, to under Comcast'scontent business. One of the sources reportedly said DreamWorks and Universal'sanimation studio Illumination Entertainment would remain separate brands.

*The FBI arrested Emil Rensing, former chief digital officer at , on wire fraud andaggravated identity theft charges. According to an official , Rensing used companies heowned and controlled to defraud the premium entertainment network out of morethan $8 million over a period of five years. Rensing was presented in Manhattanfederal court before Magistrate Judge Frank Maas. According to a Reuters report,Rensing was released on a $500,000 bond following the court hearing. EPIX (US)is a joint venture between ViacomInc., its Paramount Pictures unit, andMetro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc.

Internet & OTT

*The U.S. Federal Trade Commission's officials met and requested data from atleast two companies in recent months as part of its probe into alleged anti-competitivepractices by GoogleInc.'s Android operating system, The Wall Street Journal reports,citing sources familiar with the details. The FTC is examining industryconcerns regarding the Google's alleged abuse of the Android OS dominance. Thenews comes as the European Commission sent the Alphabet Inc. unit its statement of objections regardingthe pre-installation of the company's own apps on Android-powered phones.


*Apple Inc.'siPhone UpgradeProgram is now available to online customers, according to a reportby The Wall Street Journal. Theprogram, which was previously only available at Apple retail stores, will nowlet online consumers buy an unlocked iPhone 6s or iPhone 6s Plus. The programwas introduced by the tech giant in September 2015.

*Google, Ford Motor Co. and Uber Technologies Inc. have joined forces to createa group to advocate for self-driving vehicles, Bloomberg News reports,citing a statement. The group, which also includes Volvo Cars and Lyft Inc.,will reportedly work with lawmakers, regulators and the public to "realizethe safety and societal benefits of self-driving vehicles."

* Inmore Google news, the company unveiled Bumper ads, a new six-second videoformat. According to an official blog post,the Bumper ads will be sold via the AdWords auction on a CPM basis. Users willbe able to use Bumpers starting in May.

* Inc.'sAmazon Studios is in early stages of talks with virtual-reality companies aboutplans to develop original virtual-reality content, reports,citing sources familiar with the talks. Other details about the company's plansremain unknown and the names of the VR companies involved in the talks were notdisclosed.

* Inmore news, the online retail giant is opening two new fulfillmentcenters in New Jersey. The new sites, which will be located in Florence andCarteret, will bring more than 2,000 full-time jobs to New Jersey, the companysaid in a newsrelease. Amazon currently operates a fulfillment center in Carteretwith more than 500 full-time associates.

The day ahead are expected to start the day's trading on a lower note as the Nasdaqcomposite index, the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average weretrading below fair value in early morning futures trading.

InAsia, the Hang Seng dropped 0.21% to 21,361.60, and the Nikkei 225 was down0.36% to 17,290.49.

InEurope as of midday, the FTSE 100 was down 0.35% to 6,262.51, and the Euronext100 had climbed 0.29% to 890.20.

On the macro front

TheMBA mortgage applications report, the international trade in goods report, thepending home sales index, the EIA petroleum status report and the FOMC meetingannouncement are due out today.

Featured news

The Daily DoseEurope: Orange denies KPN acquisition talks; Nokia to acquire Withings:Orange SA said it iscurrently not in talks with KPNNV over a possible acquisition of the Dutch telco, while struck a deal toacquire France-based connected health company Withings.

CAPITALLetters: Another net neutrality battle is brewing: The beat goes onwith each side of the net neutrality issue lobbying lawmakers and regulatorsbased on their own self-interest.

With NewCharter conditions, regulators focus on online video: Newconditions proposed by regulators for Charter Communications Inc.'s pending acquisitions ofTime Warner CableInc. and Bright HouseNetworks LLC could have a big impact on digital channels' access toprogramming in a large swath of the U.S. in the near term, industry observerssaid.

Gannettcontinues newspaper empire building effort with bid for Tribune:Gannett Co Inc. iscontinuing its march to create the nation's largest newspaper company with anunsolicited offer to acquire Tribune Publishing Co. The deal's prospects remaineduncertain, however, as executives traded barbs.

Africa andMiddle East video spotlight: ICFLIX teams up with Orange Jordan forVOD: In this monthly feature, SNL Kagan provides a roundup of newsrelated to over-the-top, video-on-demand and other online video initiatives indifferent African and Middle Eastern markets.

EuropeanRegulatory Spotlight: EU veto set to derail O2-Three merger: Inthis bi-weekly feature, SNL Kagan provides a roundup of significant recentregulatory events in Europe.

Featured research

Technology: NAB: Slow going for HDR, UHD while OVPs add newpartners: Video demos featuring high-dynamic range were plentifulat the 2016 NAB Show, but the industry-standards bottleneck is likely to slowdelivery from broadcasters and linear TV services until 2017.

BroadcastInvestor: Industry update: Revenues, technology and auction topics dominate NABShow: The 2016 NAB Show was the coming out party for ATSC 3.0, withthe potential of that platform a major topic in the halls and panels at theshow, but the areas of ad revenue trends, political spend, the spectrumauction, retrans, regulation, OTT and network-affiliate relations were also keysubjects.

Recent earnings

AT&Tforesees 2016 video subscriber growth, despite Q1 erosion:AT&T Inc.sustained a loss of 54,000 video subscribers during the quarter as gains withits DIRECTV unit could not overcome declines with its U-verse offering. But CFOJohn Stephens told analysts that with a number of elements coming into playAT&T expects to boost its video customer base overall in 2016.

Twitter continuesstruggle with lower-than-expected Q1 revenue: Even as added 5 millionmonthly active users in the first quarter, the company's stock took a sharpdive in after-hours trading April 26, following news that the company missedrevenue expectations for the first quarter.

For Appleinvestors, earnings declines outweigh capital returns, positivecommentary: Investors sold off a chunk of Apple's market cap afterthe company reported its first year-over-year decline in 13 years, even as thecompany expanded its capital return program.

T-Mobile execstout Binge On, 'Uncarrier' moves as company reports profits, more subs inQ1: T-Mobile USInc. executives touted the influence of the company's Binge Onoffering and other "Uncarrier" moves as T-Mobile reported gains inboth profits and customers during the first quarter.