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Verizon, Google considering bids for Yahoo assets; Yahoo patent portfolio could be worth $3B-$4B


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Verizon, Google considering bids for Yahoo assets; Yahoo patent portfolio could be worth $3B-$4B


* andAlphabet Inc.'sGoogle Inc. are amongthose consideringmaking a run for Yahoo!Inc.'s assets, Bloomberg News reports,citing sources with knowledge of the details. Verizon plans to make a bid forYahoo's Web businesses in the week of April 11, and is also willing to purchasethe company's Yahoo Japan Corp. stake as part of the deal, the news sourcereported. Verizon and unit AOLInc. are reportedly working with three financial advisers on thebid. Google reportedly is also contemplating a bid for Yahoo's core business.Companies originally thought to be vying for the same business, such asAT&T Inc.,Comcast Corp. andMicrosoft Corp.,would likely not move forward. Yahoo has reportedly set an April 11 for interested partiesto submit preliminary bids for its core Web business and Asian assets.

* Inrelated news, Yahoo could earn $3 billion to $4 billion by selling its patentportfolio alone, the New York Post reports,citing intellectual property experts. According to sources, Yahoo owns about6,000 patents covering a range of technologies such as mobile messaging, datamining and behavioral ad targeting. One of the sources reportedly said at leastfive bidders have been trying to value the intellectual property owned byYahoo, while private equity firms have also shown interest. It, however,remains unclear which of the patents Yahoo would sell as part of a noncore dealand which it would include in the sale of its core business. Meanwhile, Yahooestimated the value of real estate and patents to be between $1 billion and $3billion under "responsible monetization of IP," another sourcereportedly said.

*Cablevision SystemsCorp. is offering access to Hulu LLC's streaming service via its cable TV serviceOptimum TV. The Hulu service can be accessed through Optimum channel 605,according to an official newsrelease. The Hulu channel is currently available on allcurrent-generation set top boxes in select Cablevision service areas and willroll out across the remaining footprint in the coming weeks. Hulu's contentowners are 21st Century FoxInc., Walt Disney Co.and NBCUniversal MediaLLC.

Internet & OTT

*Verizon Communications unit Verizon Wireless unveiled an exclusive offer forTime Warner Inc.'sHBO (US)over-the-top service HBO Now. People, who switch to Verizon Wireless, upgradeor activate a new line, will receive three months of HBO NOW included with thepurchase, the company said in a news release. The offer comes ahead of the season sixdebut of "Game of Thrones" on April 24.

* Inc.changed the titles ofJeff Wilke and Andy Jassy to CEO Worldwide Consumer and CEO Amazon WebServices, respectively. Wilke was previously senior vice president, ConsumerBusiness, while Jassy was senior vice president, Web Services. According to anofficial blog post,the changes do not represent reorganization at the online retail giant, but aremeant to reflect the growth of Amazon's Marketplace, Prime and AWS units. Themove could be part of a succession plan for the company, or could mean thatAmazon is planning to spin off AWS as a separate unit, according to a Business Insider report.Jeff Bezos remains CEO of the entire company.


* participated in a $12.5 million funding round for Luma, a developerof Surround Wi-Fi router. The series A funding was led by Accel Partners,according to an official postby the startup. Luma plans to use the funds to continue to scale the company,expand global operations and continue to do research and development on allproducts.

*FBI Director James Comey said the method used to unlock an iPhone 5c used by one ofthe San Bernardino, Calif., shooters will not work on newer iPhone models,Reuters reports.Speaking at a conference, Comey said the tool works on a narrow slice ofphones, and would not affect the iPhone 5s and the later models iPhone 6 and6s. This means that law enforcement authorities may have to rely on Apple toaccess the devices involved in other cases, including a drug traffickingcase involving aniPhone 5s.

Film & TV Programming

*René Goguen, a professional wrestler better known by his ring name René Duprée,filed a class-action lawsuit against World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. over unpaid streamingroyalties, The Hollywood Reporter reports.In a complaint filed in Connecticut federal court, the former WWE wrestlerclaimed a booking contract he signed with WWE in 2003 entitles him to royaltiesfrom the revenue generated from the company's WWE Network and the contentstreamed via NetflixInc.'s streaming service. Seeking millions of dollars in damages,the suit claims that the 2003 contract granted WWE ownership over a range ofintellectual property including his nickname, personality, character, costumes,props, gimmicks, gestures, routines and themes. In return, WWE was obligated topay out 25% of net receipts to a pool of wrestlers for licensed products aswell as for video cassettes, videodiscs, CD-ROMs "or other technology,including technology not yet created" consisting of pay-per-view videos.The suit alleges breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, unjustenrichment and a violation of the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act.Meanwhile, a lawyer representing WWE said Goguen signed another contract in2011 which prevents him to pursue such claims against the company.

The day ahead

Earlymorning futures indicators pointed to a higher opening for the U.S. market.

InAsia, the Hang Seng rose 0.48% to 20,364.02. The Nikkei 225 climbed 0.46% to15,821.52.

InEurope as of midday, the FTSE 100 was up 0.59% to 6,172.90, and the Euronext100 had increased 0.73% to 845.06.

On the macro front

Thewholesale trade report is due out today.

Featured news

The Daily DoseEurope: Orange closes Liberian acquisition; Sony unit buys Turkish channelsgroup: Orange completed the acquisition of mobile operator CellcomLiberia, while Sony Pictures Television bought a majority stake in Turkishchannels group Planet TV.

Data Dispatch:Thinking outside the box office: 'Boss' may be kryptonite forSuperman: Melissa McCarthy comedy "The Boss" might havethe last laugh at the box office this weekend, as DC's superhero flick losessteam.

The Mediator:Twitter makes 1st down with NFL streaming deal: Analysts say themove raises the profile of the microblogging platform and expands the NationalFootball League's presence globally with younger viewers.

Hires andFires: Media & Comm management moves through April 6: SNL Kaganpresents a weekly rundown of executive changes in the media and communicationsindustries.

ConferenceChatter: VICE is not turning into a TV company: This week theglobal content industry gathered in the south of France for the annual MIPTVevent. VICE MediaInc. arguably stole the show as it made a string of multiscreenannouncements, which illustrated that the industry as a whole is experiencing anexplosive uptake of digital formats.

Hires andFires: European Media & Comm moves through April 6: Telecom Italia,Telefónica, Discovery, BBC: SNL Kagan presents a bi-weekly rundownof executive and board changes in the European media and communicationsindustries.

The PayCheck: The 2015 pay packages of Google CEO Sundar Pichai CEO Jeff Bezos are among those highlighted in the latest installmentof The Pay Check.

Featured research

Economics of TV & Film: SNL Kagan Box Office Report – Week14: The domestic box office growth streak came to an end as week 14box office was down 20.9% from $277.2 million in 2015 to $219.4 million in 2016.

Economics ofInternet: Profile: HBO NOW: HBO NOW was the second majornetwork-backed stand-alone subscription over-the-top service to be released inthe U.S., behind CBS All Access. To help it better compete online, the companyhas made deals with Sesame Workshop, Jon Stewart and Bill Simmons.