* Asexpected, and a legal dispute overchannel bundling, according to a poston ESPNMediaZone. Financial terms of the settlement were not disclosed.ESPN (US) hadsued Verizon over FiOS' new "Custom TV" plan that excluded ESPN from its basicpackage, requiring subscribers to purchase the channel in a different package.The case was filed in April 2015 in the Supreme Court of the State of New York.ESPN is owned by Walt DisneyCo. and HearstCorp.
*Disney is discontinuingproduction of its DisneyInfinity gaming initiative. The unit's final retail releases willinclude three new characters from "Alice Through the Looking Glass"later in May and a "Finding Dory" play set, which will launch inJune, John Blackburn, senior vice president and general manager at DisneyInfinity, wrote in a poston the Disney Interactive blog. The company recorded charges of $147 millionrelated to the discontinuation of Infinity for the quarter ended April 2,according to an SEC filing. The charges are mainly due to an inventorywrite-down, but also include severance and other asset impairment charges. Thegame platform allowed users to create stories and play experiences starringtheir favorite characters from Disney and its brands.
*India is proposing a new law under which companies like and Uber TechnologiesInc. could face stiff fines for publishing Indian maps without the government'sapproval, Bloomberg News reports.According to proposed rules, the Indian government will check and approve themaps submitted by the companies before allowing them to distribute the maps.Those found in violation will reportedly face seven years in jail and fines ofas much as $15 million. The companies could be punished for having incorrectmapping information, including international borders. Moreover, companies needto get a license for acquiring geospatial data of any part of the country byaerial means. The draft rules follow a similar move in China. A spokesman forAlphabet unit GoogleInc. said the company is reviewing the bill.
*Google and Oracle Corp. traded barbs in the second between the companies over along-running copyright dispute, Bloomberg News reports.In opening arguments, a lawyer representing Oracle claimed Google made $42billion in revenue and $21 billion in profit from more than 3 billionactivations of Android-based smartphones, using Java programming languagewithout a license. A Google lawyer, however, said Java is "open and freefor anyone to use." Oracle is reportedly demanding $9.3 billion in damages.
Internet & OTT
*Microsoft Corp. isshutting down its MSN China portal June 7, TechCrunch.com reports,citing an emailed statement from a company representative. The spokesperson,however, said the software giant remains committed to China by "offering arange of products including Windows 10, cloud services to customers, andhosting the largest research and development center outside of the U.S."
*Facebook Inc. unitWhatsApp rolled out a desktop app for systems running Windows 8 and above orMac OS 10.9 and above operating systems, according to an official blog post.The app, called WhatsApp Web, can be downloaded from the messaging service'swebsite.
* Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., chairman of the U.S. SenateCommittee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, questioned Facebook CEO MarkZuckerberg over a report that claimed the social networking giant was stoppingconservative news stories from appearing in its Trending Topics section,according to an official newsrelease. In a letter sent to Zuckerberg, Thune sought anexplanation for the "serious allegations," and asked if the companywas taking any steps to investigate and hold the responsible individualsaccountable. The move comes after Facebook executive Tom Stocky rejected aGizmodo reportthat made the allegations of politically motivated manipulation of news storiesin the Trending Topics section.
The day ahead
U.S. markets are expected to start the day's trading on alower note as the Nasdaq composite index, the S&P 500 and the Dow JonesIndustrial Average were trading below fair value in early morning futurestrading.
In Asia, the Hang Seng dropped 0.93% to 20,055.29, and theNikkei 225 rose 0.08% to 16,579.01.
In Europe as of midday, the FTSE 100 was down 0.23% to6,142.68, and the Euronext 100 had fallen 0.91% to 851.30.
On the macro front
The Bank Reserve Settlement report, the MBA mortgageapplications report, the EIA petroleum status report and the Treasury budgetare due out today.
The Daily DoseEurope: EU to probe Deutsche Telekom's vectoring plans; UK ISPs ordered toblock 8 sites: Deutsche Telekom AG will face an EU probe after rivalscomplained about its vectoring plans in Germany, while the U.K. High Courtapproved an order to require the five major internet service providers in thecountry to block several piracy websites.
Data Dispatch:SeaWorld's state of 'whale'-being: For three years, hasbeen trying to rebuild its reputation and win back consumers. But it remainsunclear just how much progress the company has made.
ConferenceChatter: Upfront and Personal: Time Warner Cable Media: TV impressions stillmatter: Time WarnerCable Inc. Media executives examined the varied values of digitalimpressions at the company's newfront presentation, while touting an array ofanalytics tools as means to bolster campaign efficiencies.
CapitolConnection: FCC and STBs: Opening Pandora's set-top box: In someways, the FCC's current proposal to unlock the set top box has been 20 years inthe making. And it could be coming too late.
ConferenceChatter: Upfront and Personal: VICE to add 20 networks, 6 digitalchannels: VICE Media CEO Shane Smith was supine and profane duringsome of his remarks at the company's newfront presentation, where he told mediabuyers it was launching 20 linear TV networks in Europe and Asia over the nextyear, and would add six new digital channels.
The week inOTT: Time Inc. to debut new OTT service; Netflix unveils tool to managecellular data usage: Time Inc. is launching a new over-the-top streamingservice this fall, while NetflixInc. unveiled a new tool that allows users to control dataconsumption on cellular networks while streaming.
EuropeanRegulatory Spotlight: EU commissioners to reject Three-O2 merger:In this bi-weekly feature, SNL Kagan provides a roundup of significant recentregulatory events in Europe.
CAPITALLetters: Virtual reality: A technology in search of a businessmodel: Despite large sums of investment flowing into virtualreality, questions remain as to the most viable business models for VR and itscousin, augmented reality.
StartupSpotlight: The coloring app quietly dominating global charts: 2016is fast becoming the year consumers color on mobile devices. Sitting at thehelm of this trend is Finnish app developer Sumoing, which is behind Recolor,the hit coloring app taking overworked adults everywhere by storm.
Economics ofTV & Film: Animated films average largest net profit: Weanalyzed wide-release films from 2006 through 2015 and broke them down by genreand budget range. Overall, the 1,439 films averaged a $68.7 million domestic gross,$240.9 million in total revenues and $194.2 million in total costs. Theyaveraged $46.7 million in net profit with a 19.4% average net profit margin.
Economics ofAdvertising: 21st Century Fox domestic cable net ad revenues soar 17% in fiscalQ3: 21st Century FoxInc. reported that revenues for its cable network programmingsegment were up 10% to $3.94 billion for quarter ended March 31, while thesegment's EBITDA was up 12% to $1.38 billion.
Economics ofInternet: Broadcast digital, online revenue hits 10.8% of total in2015: Broadcast digital and online revenue for the 14 coveredbroadcasters in our analysis grew 24.0% year over year, boosting the segment'sportion of total revenue to a new high as new technology continues to attractgreater media allocations toward digital.
Disney CEOsees 'strong demand' for TV ads: Given the strong advertisingmarket, Walt Disney Co. CEO Bob Iger said the company is looking forward to a"robust" upfront.
Disney CEOtalks progress on Sling, Vue, Hulu: Although Walt Disney's cablenetworks saw a year-over-year drop in subscriber numbers during the fiscalsecond quarter, company CEO Bob Iger remains confident that the new skinnybundles being launched by various operators will ultimately drive growth.