* Apple Inc. CEO Tim Cook urged regulators and tech companies to work on privacy regulation in a bid to offer greater transparency to users about how their information is collected and shared, The Wall Street Journal reports. The comments came amid ongoing scrutiny over the alleged misuse of Facebook Inc.'s user data by London-based political data analytics firm Cambridge Analytica LLC and other third parties.
* Uber Technologies Inc. reached a settlement with the family of a woman killed after getting hit by one of its self-driving vehicles in Tempe, Ariz., Reuters reports. While financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, a lawyer representing the daughter and husband of the victim said the matter has been resolved.
* Bumble, a dating app operator, counter-sued rival company Match Group Inc. over claims of fraudulently obtaining trade secrets while the companies were in acquisition talks, TechCrunch.com reports. Bumble is seeking $400 million in damages and a permanent injunction to stop Match or any affiliates from using any of the confidential information. The suit was filed after Match Group accused Bumble of patent infringement and misuse of intellectual property in a separate filing.
* Analysts are divided over moves to benchmark Spotify AB against video streamer Netflix Inc., in order to determine a potential valuation for the music streaming giant after it issued its first ever guidance ahead of its April 3 public listing. In a March 26 filing, Spotify Technology S.A. projected shrinking losses and higher margins, despite slower revenue and premium subscriber growth for 2018, having warned investors in a February prospectus that significant losses meant the company "may not be able to generate sufficient revenue to be profitable."
Internet & OTT
* Facebook is cutting ties with third-party data brokers that advertisers tap to target ads on the platform, in a bid to improve the privacy of its users' data, Reuters reports. Graham Mudd, a Facebook product marketing director, said the "common industry practice" of hiring the services of data providers to help target ads will be wound down over the next six months. Advertisers, however, would still be able to rely on data brokers for measuring the performance of their ads based on purchasing data, according to the report.
* Netflix ordered new original series "Cursed," which is based on an upcoming book of the same name. Frank Miller and Tom Wheeler are co-creators and executive producers of the series, which is a re-imagining of the Arthurian legend, told through the eyes of Nimue, a teenage heroine with a mysterious gift, the streaming giant said.
* Netflix secured screen rights to "The Wicked Deep," a novel by Shea Ernshaw, Deadline.com reports. The company bought the rights to the supernatural love story with a deal of "six figures."
* Pandora Media Inc. introduced personalized playlists that have been customized according to a user's moods, activities and favorite genres. In an official blog post, the company said the playlists, which will be updated on a weekly basis, are being tested with a small group of Pandora Premium users and are expected to roll out to all subscribers soon.
* Speaking at the Mobile Carriers Show, a conference focused on regional and rural mobile services, Limitless Mobile Group CEO Atte Miettinen said Comcast Corp. and Charter Communications Inc. would do better in wireless as full mobile virtual network operators.
* In more Uber news, Lior Ron, head of the company's freight operations, has exited the ride-hailing service, TechCrunch.com reports, citing a source with knowledge of the matter. An Uber representative said the company remains "fully invested in and excited about the future of Uber Freight."
* Apple's newest and more modestly priced iPad is aimed at the education market, but closing the sales gap between iPads and lower-cost devices such as Chromebooks at schools is likely to remain a challenge for Apple in the near term, analysts said. Apple on March 27 unveiled a new 9.7-inch iPad that includes a faster processing speed and higher resolution than previous models.
* Microsoft Corp.'s LinkedIn Corp. launched video ads for sponsored content and company pages on the news feed as stand-alone posts. According to a company post, the professional networking website will also let companies and publishers share videos on the platform.
The day ahead
Early morning futures indicators pointed to a higher opening for the U.S. market.
In Asia, the Hang Seng was up 0.24% to 30,093.38, and the Nikkei 225 rose 0.61% to 21,159.08.
In Europe, as of midday, the FTSE 100 rose 0.40% to 7,072.99, and the Euronext 100 was up 0.39% to 1,010.74.
On the macro front
The jobless claims report, the Chicago PMI report, the consumer sentiment report, the EIA natural gas report, the fed balance sheet and the money supply report are due out today.
The Daily Dose Europe: EU content portability rules take effect; NXP sells Chinese chip-design JV stake: New portability rules for online content services across the European Union are set to take effect April 1, while Dutch chipmaker NXP Semiconductors NV has sold its 40% holding in a China-based chip-design joint venture.
The Daily Dose Asia-Pacific: SoftBank creating 200-GW solar project in Saudi Arabia; NXP sells China JV stake: SoftBank Group Corp. signed a nonbinding agreement to develop a $200 billion, 200,000-MW solar power project in Saudi Arabia. NXP Semiconductors sold its 40% stake in a China-based chip-design joint venture to reduce competition concerns.
The Program Guide: Global edition: Netflix renews 'Queer Eye'; Sky orders more 'Save Me': Netflix will premiere its first global original motor series, "Fastest Car," on April 6, while Sky PLC ordered a second season of Lennie James drama "Save Me."
Global Multichannel: Thailand broadband market outlook: expanded fiber network to buoy market growth: Thailand's broadband subscriber base grew at faster rates than the Asia-Pacific regional average, increasing penetration from just 7% in 2007 to 36.5% in 2017.
Technology: Tablet market decline slows, but outlook remains grim: The worldwide tablet market's decline continued in 2017, albeit at a slower pace, as smartphones and laptops continued to draw consumers away from tablets.
Broadcast Investor: Deal market February – TV deal market catches up: After radio took an early lead in January, the TV deal market registered a number of larger deals in February.
Economics of Advertising: Olympic coverage boosts ratings at NBCSN: Analysis of February cable network ratings and delivery data from Nielsen Holdings Plc.
Broadcast Investor: Public trading multiples: TV stocks tumble while radio stocks show resistance: Radio stock prices declined 1.5% while TV stock prices fell further at 8.8% month-to-date as of March 26 as concerns over a U.S./China trade war and higher interest rates weighed on the broader markets.
Economics of Internet: Netflix content spend to rise 29% this year, hit $2B-plus on originals: In the battle to triumph as global video services leader, Netflix's strategy to have something for everyone has set the company on a path to become the biggest content spender.
Broadcast Investor: Retrans database update: Sinclair/Verizon ink deal; 4 ongoing disruptions: While signal disruptions continue for some other U.S. broadcasters, Sinclair announced a carriage pact with Verizon Communications Inc. involving 15 stations, 11 markets and 1.8 million subscribers.
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