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DOJ may oppose T-Mobile/Sprint deal; US eases some restrictions on Huawei

Top News

* The U.S. Department of Justice could decide against approving T-Mobile US Inc.'s proposed merger with Sprint Corp., Bloomberg News reports, citing a source with knowledge of the matter. The person said the additional concessions provided by the U.S. carriers do not resolve the DOJ's concerns regarding the deal hurting competition. The news comes after the U.S. Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai said he now believes the transaction "is in the public interest," and he intends to present his colleagues with a draft order that would approve the deal and "resolve this matter" in the coming weeks.

* The U.S. Commerce Department issued a temporary license that will allow American companies to continue doing business with Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. for the next three months. The temporary general license, effective May 20, authorizes engagement in transactions with Huawei and its affiliates under certain conditions.

* Congress will have a busy week of hearings before a week of recess after Memorial Day. On May 22, the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee will host a hearing on an infrastructure bill titled, "LIFT America: Modernizing Our Infrastructure for the Future." The bill was introduced by all 31 Democratic members of the committee on May 15.

* The temporary license issued by the U.S. Commerce Department allows Alphabet Inc.'s Google LLC to send software updates and security patches to existing Huawei models through to Aug. 19, reports, citing an emailed statement. Google had previously suspended some of its business with the Chinese technology company.

TV Networks

* The glitzy New York upfront presentations to advertisers for the upcoming 2019-2020 TV season focused almost as much on ad-supported video on demand as on the linear programming lineups, even though some of the touted streaming offerings have yet to make ad inventory available to marketers. Executives at NBCUniversal Media LLC and AT&T Inc.'s WarnerMedia extolled yet-to-be-named services they said will give advertisers opportunities to associate their products and services in brand-safe environments — a term reminding advertisers of ad-placement scandals on digital rivals — that pair with key data insights from in-house analytics divisions.

* The "Game of Thrones" series finale set a ratings record for HBO (US) by pulling in 13.6 million viewers for its initial airing on Sunday night, and reaching 19.3 million viewers with replays and early streaming, The Hollywood Reporter reports. The previous best for "Game of Thrones" was set by the penultimate episode on May 12, which delivered 12.5 million viewers for its debut airing and a first-night total of 18.4 million viewers.


* Google unveiled Google Glass Enterprise Edition 2, a new model of its Google Glass smart glasses designed for businesses, according to an official blog post. Glass Enterprise Edition 2, which features Qualcomm Snapdragon XR1 platform and a USB-C port, costs $999.

* In more Google news, the company bought three office buildings in San Jose, Calif., for $137.5 million, The Mercury News reports, citing Santa Clara County records. The properties encompass a total of 332,000 square feet at 4550 N. First St., 65 Nortech Pkwy. and 95 Nortech Pkwy., according to the report.

Internet & OTT

* Slack Technologies Inc. is expecting to raise about $196.5 million in the direct listing of its class A common stock, according to an SEC filing. The company has registered 116,953,100 shares of its class A common stock for the listing and changed its ticker symbol to WORK from SK.

* Snap Inc. promoted Derek Andersen to CFO of the company. Lara Sweet, who was named interim CFO after the departure of Tim Stone, will now become chief people officer of Snap, according to a news release.

* Viacom Inc.'s internet-based, ad-supported video unit Pluto Inc. has added The Young Turks Network to its lineup of programming, Multichannel News reports. The Young Turks Network, a news and opinion channel, will part of the news portion of Pluto TV's live program guide.

The day ahead

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

In Asia, Hang Seng fell 0.47% at 27,657.24, while the Nikkei 225 shed 0.14% to 21,272.45.

In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 gained 0.76% to 7,366.61, and the Euronext 100 lifted 0.59% to 1,050.67.

On the macro front

The Redbook Index for retail sales and the existing home sales 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: Infineon denies suspending Huawei supplies; Mediaset Spain to launch OTT service: Infineon Technologies AG denied suspending supplies to Huawei, while Mediaset España Comunicación SA is preparing to launch an over-the-top offering.

The Daily Dose Asia-Pacific: Huawei to lose supplies from chipmakers; ByteDance rolls out social app Feiliao: Qualcomm Inc., Xilinx Inc. and Broadcom Inc. will no longer supply chips to Huawei until further notice, while Beijing Byte Dance Telecommunications Co. Ltd. launched a new social app that combines instant messaging and internet-based forums.

M&A Replay: DISH buying EchoStar's broadcast satellite business; Discovery buys Golf Digest: DISH Network Corp. agreed a deal to acquire EchoStar Corp.'s broadcast satellite service division, while Discovery Inc. has acquired Golf Digest from Conde Nast.

The Week in OTT: Hulu gets Harvey Weinstein doc; Amazon cancels 'The Tick': Hulu LLC bought U.S. rights to "Untouchable," a documentary about disgraced media mogul Harvey Weinstein, while Inc. has pulled the plug on superhero comedy series "The Tick."

Featured research

Global Multichannel: Global markets update — Russia: Kagan has recently updated Global Multichannel and Broadband analyses for Russia, as well as analyses for related operators Akado Telecom, ER-Telecom JSC, MegaFon, Mobile TeleSystems PJSC, NTV-Plus, Orion Express, Rostelecom PJSC, Tricolor TV and VEON.

Technology: Q1'19 Apple review: iPhone sales decline as other products gain momentum: A long-awaited refresh of the iPad Air and iPad Mini finally came, along with price cuts on older models, helping drive first-quarter shipments up 14% year on year.

Wireless Investor: T-Mobile's TVision requires wire for now: T-Mobile's TVision bundles cable TV, over-the-top, video on demand and social media as the carrier positions itself for a fight for traditional TV service subs.

Technology: Comcast, Amazon square off on voice-directed entertainment: Amazon's Echo and Comcast Corp.'s X-1 prominently feature voice-driven interfaces from different rooms of the house, but the platforms are converging on the living room supported by a selection of set-top boxes, streaming media players and smart TVs.

Economics of TV & Film: KBOX week 19: Summer box office starting to sizzle: The summer season is off to a strong start with audiences still filling theaters to watch "Avengers: Endgame" and "Pokemon Detective Pikachu" in week 19. Total gross for the week increased 16.8% from $194.1 million in 2018 to $226.8 million in 2019.

The Best Of: Kagan research and analysis, editor's picks: Presenting the editor's top picks from Kagan's exclusive research and analysis for the week ended May 17.

The Daily Dose has an editorial deadline of 7:30 a.m. ET. Some external links may require a subscription. Links are current as of publication time, and we are not responsible if those links are unavailable later.