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Google buys interactive training service for Google Apps; Amazon backs Bluetooth technology company

Southeast Asian broadband providers report varying performance amid COVID-19

Cable networks react to pandemic by cutting SG&A, programming costs

Strong Competition Remains For Thailand Digital Terrestrial TV Channel

ITU: Regulators discuss impacts of COVID-19 on policymaking


Google buys interactive training service for Google Apps; Amazon backs Bluetooth technology company

TOP NEWS

* unit acquired Synergyse,an interactive training service for Google Apps. According to an official blog post,Synergyse will now be part of the Google Apps team, and Synergyse Training forGoogle Apps will be offered for free. Financial terms of the deal were notdisclosed.

*Amazon.com Inc.backed Bluetooth technology company TrackR with an investment of $250,000 to$500,000, Reuters reports,citing a person with knowledge of the details. The partnership will reportedlyhelp users find lost items via the Alexa virtual assistant that controls AmazonEcho speaker system, and will provide TrackR with a voice-response technology.The investment was made through Amazon's Alexa Fund, a $100 million fund thatinvests in technologies that help Amazon advance Alexa's capabilities.

Internet & OTT

*Hulu LLC approachedNBCUniversal MediaLLC for a possible partnership on the streaming service's plannedover-the-top offeringand the talks are in early stages, Varietyreports,citing a person close to the situation. Hulu's content owners are ,Walt Disney Co. andComcast Corp.'s NBCU.

*Brazilian Judge Marcel Montalvao ordered phone companies in the country toblock access to FacebookInc.'s WhatsApp for 72 hours starting May 2, Bloomberg News reports,citing a statement posted on the court's website. The messaging app was blockedafter it reportedly failed to provide information that was sought as part of acriminal probe. In a statement, WhatsApp said it does not have that informationand has cooperated fully with the authorities. In December 2015, WhatsApp wasordered to be blockedfor 48 hours for failing to comply with two judicial rulings, but thesuspension was lifted after 12 hours.

*New Media Investment GroupInc. closed an $18 million cash deal to acquire Journal Multimedia. Accordingto a news release,New Media Investment Group paid the $18 million price using cash on its balancesheet. Journal Multimedia's umbrella has a number of regional businessjournals, a research division, trade magazines and a digital marketing company.

Multichannel

*Canadian-based Stingray Digital Group extended its carriage deal with Comcastto include Stingray music services, MultichannelNews reports,citing an official statement. Under the agreement, Comcast's Xfinity customerswill be able to access Stingray's music services such as Stingray Ambiance,Stingray Brava and Stingray DJazz, in addition to music videos. The newservices will reportedly be part of Stingray's Karaoke Channel on the XfinityOn Demand platform.

TV Networks

*Los Angeles Superior Court Judge David Cowan asked Sumner Redstone, chairmanemeritus of CBS Corp.and Viacom Inc., toprovide a short videotaped deposition from his home as part of an ongoinglawsuit with hisformer health care agent Manuela Herzer, Varietyreports.The judge said Redstone will face lawyers for a 30-minute examination, and thevideotaped testimony will not be made public. The court will only release awritten transcript to the press and the public. The news comes as Cowanrecently denied apetition demanding Redstone to testify in court over claims that he is mentallyincompetent.

The day ahead

Earlymorning futures indicators pointed to a lower opening for the U.S. market.

InAsia, the Hang Seng was down 1.85% to 20,676.94, while the FTSE 100 was down1.15% to 6,169.88. In Europe, around midday, the Euronext 100 was lower by1.84% to 856.58.

On the macro front

TheMotor Vehicle Sales report, Gallup US ECI and Redbook Index are due out today.

Featured news

The Daily DoseEurope: EC to fine Google for shopping service; Telecom Italia seeks majoritystake in Metroweb JV: Google could face its first EU antitrust finein 2016 over its comparison shopping service, while is eyeing atwo-thirds majority stake in fiber optic firm Metroweb.

M&A Replay:Deals through April 29: SNL Kagan provides a wrap-up of media andcommunications deal announcements and completions from April 25 to April 29.

Data Dispatch:Apple loses shine as iPhone sales tumble; analysts look to next release toimprove: After a rotten quarter for , the anticipated iPhonerelease this fall could provide a much-needed boost to the company's sales andrevenue, analysts said.

CAPITALLetters: The best government money can buy: Halfway through thiscurrent election cycle media and communications entities are on track to set arecord for campaign contributions to federal candidates.

Featured research

GlobalMultichannel: Latin America: More than half of broadband homes in 13 majormarkets have speeds below 4 Mbps: Latin America's fixed broadbandmarket continued to increase subscriber base and speeds, making video streamingan option for more homes; however, regionwide adoption of high-speed servicesremains low.

Economics ofAdvertising: A look at prime-time premieres and finales on broadcast, cable inQ1: Using data from comScore Inc.'s TV Essentials, we examined more than 50shows that aired returning season premieres or finales during the firstquarter.

MultichannelTrends: 2016 cable MSO national map and subscriber update nowavailable: The 2016 edition of our U.S. multichannel videodistributor national map with provider footprints based on fourth-quarter 2015data is now available.