* Alphabet Inc. unit Google Inc. agreed to buy LogMeIn Inc. unit Xively, an internet of things platform, according to a company post. While financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, TechCrunch.com reported the deal price to be $50 million.
* The U.S. Federal Election Commission is set to discuss a proposed regulatory framework that would subject Facebook Inc., Google and other online platforms to stricter rules on political advertising. Under FEC Vice Chair Ellen Weitraub's proposal, online ads would need to carry the same disclaimers from their sponsors that are also found on radio, TV and print ads. Such disclaimers must carry the sponsor's name "in letters of sufficient type size to be clearly readable by the recipient of the communication," according to a post by the commission.
* Amazon.com Inc., YouTube and Twitter Inc. are considering bids for streaming rights to "Thursday Night Football," Bloomberg News reports, citing sources familiar with the matter. Sources said the companies are bidding hundreds of millions of dollars for deals that will grant them streaming rights for nearly five years. 21st Century Fox Inc., which acquired the TV rights to the games through 2022, is assisting the National Football League in the talks.
* CBS Corp. plans to launch a direct-to-consumer sports highlights product later this month and another streaming service tied to the "Entertainment Tonight" franchise this fall. CBS Chairman and CEO Les Moonves on the company's Feb. 15 earnings call told analysts that CBS Sports HQ will debut later this month, just before the "March Madness" college basketball tournament tips off, and ahead of The Masters golf tournament.
* Tara Broadcasting LLC, owner of LPTV station, sued Charter Communications Inc. over a carriage dispute with the company, Broadcasting & Cable reports. In a filing in a California Superior Court, Tara has sought more than $5 million in damages, including trebled damages over claims that Charter violated state antitrust laws and laws against discrimination, unfair business practices and deceptive advertising. Charter, however, said the suit lacks merit and Tara has no right to carriage. Tara has not asked for carriage of its stations.
Internet & OTT
* Apple Inc.'s Apple Music placed a second season order for "Carpool Karaoke: The Series," Variety reports. The renewal was announced by CBS Corp. CEO Leslie Moonves during the company's earnings conference call.
* Actor Jeffrey Tambor said he was "profoundly disappointed" in the way Amazon.com handled allegations of sexual harassment against him, Deadline.com reports, citing a statement. Tambor, who was officially fired from the show following an internal investigation, claimed the accusations were not discussed with him or anybody at Amazon.
* Google introduced a Gmail Go app for Android devices, TechCrunch.com reports. The app consumes less storage on a user's smartphone and also consumes less mobile data as well.
* AT&T Inc.'s AT&T Mobility LLC unit reached a tentative deal with the Communications Workers of America District 3 in the Southeast region. The four-year agreement, which requires the ratification by members of the CWA, covers about 10,000 AT&T Mobility employees in the region, according to a news release.
The day ahead
Early morning futures indicators pointed to a higher opening for the U.S. market.
In Asia, the Hang Seng was up 1.97% to 31,115.43, and the Nikkei 225 was up 1.19% to 21,720.25.
In Europe, as of midday, the FTSE 100 had risen 0.56% to 7,275.10, and the Euronext 100 had climbed 0.88% to 1,108.42.
On the macro front
The housing starts report, the import and export prices report, the consumer sentiment report, the e-commercial retail sales report and the Baker-Hughes Rig Count report are due out today.
The Daily Dose Europe: Liberty Global CEO dismisses downsize speculation; Nokia to cut jobs in Finland: Liberty Global plc CEO Mike Fries has dismissed reports his company is dismantling its operations in Europe, while Nokia Corp. plans to cut up to 425 jobs in Finland.
Hires and Fires: Amazon Studios gets new head; VICE Media revamps EMEA team: E-commerce giant Amazon named former NBC Entertainment President Jennifer Salke as the new head of Amazon Studios. VICE Media LLC announced a restructure of its Europe, Middle East and Africa team, with plans for several layoffs.
Baidu's iQiyi files for US IPO; Alibaba to stream Disney content in China: Baidu Inc. confirmed plans for a U.S. listing of its streaming service iQiyi, while Alibaba Digital Media and Entertainment Group secured rights to stream selected content from Walt Disney Co.
India fines Google; Samsung heir released from jail: The Competition Commission of India imposed a fine of 1.36 billion Indian rupees on Google for search bias, while an appeals court in South Korea suspended Samsung Group heir Lee Jae-yong's jail sentence over corruption charges.
Economics of TV & Film: NBCUniversal's filmed entertainment revenue hits new high in 2017: NBCUniversal Media LLC recently reported financial results for the year 2017, and total filmed entertainment revenue grew 20.4% in 2017 to almost $7.66 billion compared to $6.36 billion in 2016.
Economics of Internet: Audioboom Group to merge with Triton Digital: Audioboom Group plc revealed plans to combine with U.S. rival audio technology firm Triton Digital, Inc. in a reverse takeover deal for $186.2 million. The merger would mesh the podcasting expertise of AudioBoom with the leading streaming-audio metrics firm.
Economics of Advertising: NFL playoff games top January telecasts despite pro football ratings decline: Ratings for games from the 2017-2018 NFL playoffs continued a downward trend compared to 2017, but the league still attracted the most number of viewers in January, based on data from comScore Inc.'s TV Essentials.
Economics of TV & Film: Kagan Box Office Report – Week 6: Weekly box office gross posted growth for just the second time this box office year as week six box office increased 25.4% from $140.4 million in 2017 to $176.1 million in 2018.
Economics of Internet: Asia-Pacific SVOD outlook: The rapid growth of subscription video on demand in both China and India could lead to a surge in over-the-top revenue in the region.
Wireless Investor: UFC Fight Pass prices steady for 3rd year in a row: Unlike many other sports leagues' digital offerings, prices for the Ultimate Fighting Championship, or UFC, Fight Pass have not budged for several seasons in a row.
Technology: ARRIS and Harmonic move the network virtualization needle with announcements: Yesterday, both ARRIS International plc and Harmonic Inc. revealed important deployment milestones for their cable access products that move the industry a step closer to the full virtualization and distribution of their broadband access networks.
Global Multichannel: Global markets update – Germany, Colombia: Kagan, a media research group within S&P Global Market Intelligence, has recently updated Global Multichannel & Broadband analysis for two markets.
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