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Vermont Gov. seeks dismissal of net neutrality suit; Qualcomm, FTC to face off

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Vermont Gov. seeks dismissal of net neutrality suit; Qualcomm, FTC to face off

Top News

* Vermont Governor Phil Scott is seeking the dismissal of a lawsuit filed by the broadband industry over the state's new net neutrality law, MediaPost's DigitalNewsDaily reports. That law, passed in May, stops broadband access providers that contract with state agencies from violating rules that bar blocking or throttling of content, apps and services, and from charging companies higher fees for prioritized delivery.

* Qualcomm Inc. and the U.S. Federal Trade Commission will face off in a 10-day non-jury trial on Jan. 4, 2019, over claims that the chipmaker abused its market strength to force companies like Apple Inc. to pay higher license fees, Bloomberg News reports. U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh in San Jose, Calif., recently denied both Qualcomm and the FTC's request to defer her ruling while both parties discussed a possible settlement.

* BBC Studios Ltd.'s executive vice president for Asia, David Weiland, spoke to S&P Global Market Intelligence about the company's efforts to gain a deeper foothold in China and its multi-strategic approach in Asian markets.

Social media

* TechCrunch.com cited research by anti-harassment algorithm startup AntiToxin to report that apps removed by Google LLC from its Play Store for hosting links to child porn sharing rings on WhatsApp were supported with ads run by the U.S. search giant and Facebook's ad networks. AntiToxin found six of these apps ran Google AdMob, one ran Google Firebase, two ran Facebook Audience Network and one ran StartApp.

* Indonesia has removed its ban on Oath Inc.'s Tumblr after the microblogging service removed adult content from the platform, TechCrunch.com reports. Oath has been rebranded as Verizon Media Group by Verizon Communications Inc.

* Instagram Inc. has fixed a bug that temporarily changed the appearance of the photo-sharing social network's feed for many customers. "Due to a bug, some users saw a change to the way their feed appears today. We quickly fixed the issue and feed is back to normal," the Facebook Inc. unit said in a tweet.

Programming

* Angelina Jolie has teamed up with British Broadcasting Corp. for a global English-language current affairs program for children in 2019, according to a post on BBC.com. Jolie will executive produce the program, called "Our World," which will feature 10 episodes.

* Russian company Media-Telecom, a joint venture between National Media Group and Rostelecom PJSC, struck a distribution deal for Fox Networks Group Inc.'s pay TV channels in Russia, The Hollywood Reporter reports. The exclusive agreement covers networks such as FOX, FOX Life, National Geographic, Nat Geo Wild and Baby TV.

Regulation & Policy

* The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the dismissal of a shareholder lawsuit that accused Walt Disney Co. CEO Bob Iger and other board members for failing to take action against anti-poaching agreements in the animation industry, The Hollywood Reporter reports. The suit claimed that the agreements were used to suppress wages for animation workers in the industry. In 2017, Lucy Koh of the U.S. District Court of the Northern District of California, San Jose division, granted preliminary approval to a $100 million settlement of an alleged wage-fixing lawsuit between Disney, Pixar, Lucasfilm Ltd. LLC, Two Pic MC LLC and animation workers.

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.

The day ahead

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

In Asia, the Hang Seng increased 0.10% to 25,504.20, while the Nikkei 225 declined 0.31% to 20,014.77.

In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 was up 1.80% to 6,703.46, and the Euronext 100 was up 1.69% to 906.87.

On the macro front

The international trade in goods report, the retail inventories report, the wholesale inventories report, the Chicago PMI, the pending home sales index, the EIA Natural Gas Report, the EIA Petroleum Status Report and the Baker-Hughes Rig Count report are due out today.

Featured news

The Daily Dose Europe: Czech Republic reverses Huawei ban; NEC buying Danish IT company: The Czech government has reversed an earlier warning by the country's cybersecurity watchdog against the use of Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. equipment, while Japan's NEC Corp. will acquire Danish IT company KMD Holding ApS.

SoftBank planning US$16B investment in WeWork; Tencent invests in India's Swiggy: SoftBank Group Corp. is planning to invest US$16 billion in coworking startup WeWork Cos. Inc., while Tencent Holdings Ltd. participated in a US$1 billion funding round of Indian food delivery startup Swiggy.

The Daily Dose Asia-Pacific: US may block Huawei, ZTE purchases; Foxconn to assemble X-model iPhones in India: U.S. President Donald Trump may issue an executive order to ban local companies from using equipment made by China's Huawei and ZTE Corp., while Foxconn Technology Co. Ltd. plans to start assembling X-model iPhones in India.

Featured research

Economics of Networks: Economics of Basic Cable Networks 2018: Cord cutting and cord shaving have taken their toll on the cable network industry. But even with these headwinds, cash flow margins remain well ahead of many other media sectors.

Wireless Investor: 28 GHz auction crawls toward an early January finish line: Auction 101, with 3,072 28 GHz licenses in 1,536 counties in the U.S. for sale, is winding down. In 24 days of bidding it has raised almost $690 million, implying slightly more than a penny per MHz pop for the spectrum.

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