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Alphabet's investor suits; Lawmaker's data inquiry; Cineworld's Cineplex deal

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Alphabet's investor suits; Lawmaker's data inquiry; Cineworld's Cineplex deal

Top News

* Alphabet Inc. is seeking private mediation to settle investor lawsuits that accused the company of letting senior leaders at Google LLC get away with sexual harassment and misconduct for years, Bloomberg News reports, citing a filing in California state court in San Jose. Both the defendants and the plaintiffs agreed to extend Alphabet's deadline to respond to the claims until Feb. 14, 2020, to aid the mediation process.

* Rep. Stephen Lynch, D-Mass., chairman of a subcommittee on National Security, asked Google and Apple Inc. if the companies require mobile app developers to disclose potential overseas affiliations before making their products available to U.S. users. Lynch said that Congress has a responsibility to protect the privacy of American citizens and foreign adversaries may be able to collect sensitive data on U.S. citizens through such apps.

* British movie theater operator Cineworld Group PLC agreed to acquire its Canadian peer Cineplex Inc. for C$34 in cash per share, or a total enterprise value of C$2.8 billion. The transaction is expected to be completed in the first half of 2020, subject to shareholder approval.


* The U.S. Department of Justice is readying legal action against Live Nation Entertainment Inc. on allegations that the company coerced concert venues into using its Ticketmaster subsidiary, The Wall Street Journal reports, citing people familiar with the knowledge of the matter. The DOJ believes the move could be in violation of the settlement agreement Live Nation and Ticketmaster reached in 2010 with the U.S. for the deal.

* Sony Corp.'s "Jumanji: The Next Level" soared to the top of the domestic box office, amassing $60.1 million for the Dec. 13 weekend, pushing The Walt Disney Co.'s "Frozen 2" down to No. 2 with $19.2 million, according to Comscore Inc. Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.'s "Knives Out" was No. 3 with $9.3 million, Warner Bros.' "Richard Jewell" was No. 4 with $5 million, while Universal's "Black Christmas" was No. 5 with $4.4 million.


* Boingo Wireless Inc. will eliminate about 80 jobs, or 16% of its workforce, as part of a restructuring plan that it expects will help the company decrease operating costs by roughly $11 million on an annualized basis. The company said the business realignment will help drive long term sustainable revenue growth, better align resources, improve operational efficiencies and increase profitability.

* Verizon Communications Inc.'s 5G Ultra Wideband mobility service is now live in Los Angeles, according to a company release. With the addition of Los Angeles, Verizon's 5G Ultra Wideband service is now available in 19 cities.


* AT&T Inc. will start rolling out the virtual version of its premium pay TV service, AT&T TV, across the U.S. from February 2020, Multichannel News reports. The company said the virtual version will be used to drive the penetration of the telecom's fiber-to-the-home broadband service.

* Warner Media LLC's upcoming streaming service, HBO Max, ordered a TV series adaptation of Neal Stephenson's science fiction novel, "Snow Crash," reports. The series will be written and co-run by Michael Bacall and will be directed by Joe Cornish.


* T-Mobile US Inc. CEO John Legere testified in court Dec. 13 that he believed the U.S. Federal Communications Commission considered DISH Network Corp.'s track record while approving the merger of T-Mobile and Sprint Corp., Reuters reports. The merger will see DISH build a 5G wireless network that will cover at least 70% of the U.S. population by June 2023, or it will pay up to $2.2 billion in fines. A group of U.S. states sued to prevent the merger, arguing that DISH has a history of amassing FCC licenses for wireless spectrum but has failed to demonstrate that it can build a wireless network.

* Mozilla Corp. led a series of petitions filed in federal court on Dec. 13 asking for a new hearing and reconsideration of a court's decision to largely uphold the U.S. Federal Communications Commission's 2018 order repealing net neutrality rules. The petition asked for a reconsideration of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia's decision in October to uphold the FCC's order repealing net neutrality rules.

The day ahead

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

In Asia, the Hang Seng fell 0.65% to 27,508.09, and the Nikkei 225 dropped 0.29% to 23,952.35.

In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 was up 2.19% to 7,514.52, and the Euronext 100 rose 1.00% to 1,143.74.

On the macro front

The Empire State Manufacturing Survey, the Housing Market Index 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.

Featured news

The Daily Dose Europe: Cineworld deal with Cineplex; Altice unit stake sale; Canal Plus/Disney+ tie-up: Theater operator Cineworld Group is buying Canada's Cineplex, a Morgan Stanley-backed fund is acquiring an almost 50% stake in Altice Europe's Portuguese fiber unit, and Canal Plus SA agreed to exclusively distribute the Disney+ streaming service in France.

The Daily Dose Asia-Pacific: Samsung enters Canada; Hoya to bid for NuFlare; Korea OKs LG U+, CJ Hello deal: Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. is entering Canada; Tokyo-based medical technology company HOYA Corp. plans to make an offer for NuFlare Technology Inc.; and LG U+ got conditional approval for its acquisition of a majority stake in CJ Hello.

MarketWeek: T-Mobile, Sprint crater amid court battle; Netflix tumbles after downgrade: Wall Street analysts questioned whether T-Mobile and Sprint could win their court battle against the state attorneys general suing to block the companies' merger, and Netflix Inc.'s stock fell after an analyst raised concerns about competitive headwinds.

Data Dispatch: Jumanji sequel to fight pre-holiday competition anchored by Disney: Sony's latest "Jumanji" sequel swings into theaters over the Dec. 13 weekend, setting up a holiday box office battle among big franchise films, including Disney's "Frozen II" and soon-to-release "Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker."

The Best Of: Editor's picks: VR market forecast for 2020; US ISP speeds for Netflix: Stories about the virtual reality market forecast and the U.S. internet service providers' speeds for Netflix streaming are featured in the editor's technology, media and telecommunications top picks for the week ended Dec. 13.

The Best Of: Most read: Disney+ preps for EU launch; HBO Max to target all household members: Articles about Disney+ in Europe and AT&T's upcoming HBO Max streaming service were among the most read in technology, media and telecommunications news for the week ended Dec. 13.

Featured research

Economics of Internet: Q3'19 top US video provider rankings: Video consumption trends further shaped the top U.S. video provider trends in the third quarter as the sequential and annual movement starkly illustrated the flow toward streaming services.

Wireless Investor: 5G tender in Israel aims to break wireless dry spell: Total wireline and wireless capital expenditures in Israel jumped to $668.9 million in 2018, up 7% annually. At the same time, carriers struggled with a prepaid-to-postpaid subscriber migration as well as a price war due to a new market entrant.

Economics of Advertising: Q3 cable network advertising revenue a mixed bag: Kagan presents an analysis of quarterly advertising revenue trends at major publicly traded cable network owners, including historical database and ratings breakouts.

Global Multichannel: 2019 LatAm groups report: Operational review: Subscriber net additions and revenue growth for the top 11 telecommunication groups in LatAm dwindled in 2018 on economic deceleration and exchange-rate volatility. AT&T outperformed in net additions, but a non-diversified revenue mix poses a risk.

Economics of Networks: Premium mirrors multichannel video loss but shines in OTT during Q3: Premium networks recorded total declines of 2.4 million in multichannel video categories, but gains in over-the-top of 2 million helped partially offset those losses.

Technology: Bump in global smartphone shipments in Q3'19 breaks 7 quarters of declines: Global shipments in third quarter improved slightly, breaking seven straight quarters of year-on-year declines, signaling a possible return to growth.

Multichannel Trends: US multichannel video revenues reel from deep sub erosion in 10-year outlook: Revenues are projected to fall by 19% from 2018 through 2023.

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