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Broadcom closes in on Toshiba deal; Bharti Airtel-Telenor merger gets nod


MediaTalk | Season 2
Ep.1: Broadcast's Big Year


MediaTalk | Season 2: Back in 2024!


Japan M&A By the Numbers: Q4 2023


Global 5G Survey 2023 Fixed wireless access growing but mid-band still No 1

Broadcom closes in on Toshiba deal; Bharti Airtel-Telenor merger gets nod


* Toshiba Corp. is looking to grant exclusive negotiating rights for its semiconductor unit to U.S. chipmaker Broadcom Ltd from as early as the middle of June, The Asahi Shimbun reports. Toshiba reportedly shifted in favor of the U.S. chipmaker after a delay by KKR & Co. LP-led Japan-U.S. consortium in proposing conditions for the sale.

* Bharti Airtel Ltd. said in a filing that the Competition Commission of India approved its proposed merger with Telenor India. The Telenor ASA unit earlier secured approvals from Securities & Exchange Board of India, Bombay Stock Exchange and National Stock Exchange of India.

* U.S.-based private equity firm Warburg Pincus will invest as much as US$300 million into Princeton Growth Ventures, a company looking to acquire telecommunications, media and technology assets in India, China, Southeast Asia, Mexico and Brazil, Bloomberg News reports. Led by former Tata Communications Ltd. executive Rangu Salgame, Princeton Growth Ventures will focus on assets such as data centers and digital media services.


* Inc. expanded its Twitch Prime service to more than 200 countries and territories. Twitch Prime, a social video platform for gamers offering both live and on-demand content, is included with Prime Video at an introductory price of US$2.99 per month for the first six months.

* Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. deepens partnership with SAP SE in the Asia-Pacific region and Japan. The two companies will jointly explore areas including safe city, data analytics, and internet of things.


* Fujitsu Ltd. president Tatsuya Tanaka told Reuters that the company is in the final stages of integrating its personal computer business with Lenovo Group Ltd..

* Sprint Corp. and T-Mobile US Inc. could opt for an all-stock transaction if the companies agree to merge, Bloomberg News reports, citing people familiar with the matter. According to the report, parent companies Deutsche Telekom AG and SoftBank Group Corp. have yet to decide about merging the two companies, and Sprint and T-Mobile are also in talks with other potential merger partners.

* Amazon Japan G.K. has teamed up with U.K.-based mobile payment company Bango Plc. to offer carrier billing option for its customers in Japan. The online retailer said its customers with a NTT DOCOMO or KDDI Corp. mobile phone account can now opt for Amazon orders in Japan by charging the cost to their mobile phone bill. NTT DOCOMO is a unit of Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp.

* Japanese technology firm NEC Corp. plans to sell a portion of its stake in semiconductor manufacturer Renesas Electronics Corp, The Nikkei reports. The sale is expected to bring in more than ¥5 billion for NEC, according to the report.

* The Japanese tech firm Japan Display Inc will embark on a wholesale reorganization as it struggles with finances, The Nikkei reports. The liquid crystal display panels manufacturer will appoint new management on June 21 at its annual shareholders meeting, aiming to unveil a new medium-term reform measures in August.

* Japan's Nintendo will bring a Pokémon game 'POKKÉN TOURNAMENT DX' to the Switch which offers a range of play options based on Switch's multiplayer option, including local, tabletop and team battles and online play. The new game will be offered for ?5,980 starting on Sept. 22.


* The South Korean Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning is investing a total of 6.1 billion South Korean won this year in small and medium-sized companies that produce cultural content tailored to smart devices, Yonhap News Agency reports. The investment is going to 72 projects that have been selected through an application and review process that started in March.

* With the launch of ultra-high-definition broadcasting on terrestrial TV networks in South Korea, some strong interference has been identified in the 700MHz band among spectrums used for UHD broadcasting, public safety network and LTE-R network for railway communications, ET News reports. Relevant authorities, including the Ministry of Science, Ministry of Transport and Ministry of Public Safety, plan to jointly devise countermeasures to the interference.

* The South Korean Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning decided to support three city governments of Ansan, Jecheon and Yeoju to make use of TV white spaces, or unused frequencies that are available for other use, Financial News reports. With the support, the three municipal governments are going to use the assigned frequencies to build wireless networks for necessary areas such as the seashore, camping site and mountainside.


* HTC Corp's VR headset will be compatible with Apple Inc.'s yet-to-be released High Sierra operating system, Reuters reports.

* Baidu Inc. ended support of its short video app Liulian, Sohu reports. Launched on June 9, Liulian allowed users to download, upload and share short videos, but Baidu said the app no longer suits the development of the company.

* Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. signed an agreement with the local government of Xiaoshan, Greater Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, to deepen cooperations in seven areas, including retail, finance and cloud computing. The Xiaoshan government expects the partnership to benefit local companies, most of which are SMEs.


* Southeast Asian ride-hailing service Grab is eyeing another fundraising round "in the near future" as it seeks to transform the company into a consumer tech firm that offers loans, electronic money transfer and money-market funds, co-founder and CEO Anthony Tan told Reuters.

* Axiata Group Berhad's Nepal unit Ncell Pvt. Ltd. paid 559 million Malaysian ringgit to settle its capital gain tax dispute, The Sun Daily reports. The settlement was made following Nepal Telecommunications Authority's decision not to grant 4G license to Ncell until the dispute was settled.

* Germany-based ESL said it opened a new regional office in Singapore, which will be led by newly appointed interim CEO Sebastian Radu. The eSports company also plans to add two more ESL One Dota 2 stand-alone events in 2018. ESL is a unit of Sweden's Modern Times Group.

* PT Telekomunikasi Indonesia Tbk through its subsidiary PT Pins Indonesia is planning to raise its stake at PT Tiphone Mobile Indonesia Tbk, an Indonesian telco devices distributor, Metrotv News reports. Pins, currently a 24% shareholder of Tiphone, is said to be planning to increase its shareholding in Tiphone to 50%.

* Thailand's National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission, or NBTC, reiterated that the 2300 MHz band that Total Access Communication Public Co. Ltd., or Dtac, will be renting from TOT Public Co. Ltd. may only be used for data services, Krungthep Turakij reports. The regulator warned that violation could result in revocation of TOT's license for the particular band.

* Huawei Technologies is looking to bolster its presence in the Philippines by investing more in the country, Philippine International Trading Corp. President Dave Almarinez told The Philippine Star.

* Indonesia's PT Global Mediacom Tbk, the parent company of MNC Media, issued bonds worth 1.5 trillion Indonesian rupiahs, according to Mediacom's press release. The issuance is aimed to provide financing and to fulfill the company's working capital needs.

* Singapore Press Holdings, a Singaporean media company, has relaunched its primary content aggregator site AsiaOne, The Straits Times reports. The site will cover news, style and trending topics from Singapore and Malaysia.


* Australian pay TV provider FOXTEL is undergoing a corporate makeover, offering all its channels over broadband at lower prices as it seeks to win more customers and compete with streaming giant Netflix Inc., The Australian reports, citing Foxtel chief executive Peter Tonagh. The company will reportedly "spend over A$1 billion more in the next five years" than originally planned, according to the Foxtel CEO. FOXTEL is a joint venture between News Corp. and Telstra Corp. Ltd.

* NBN Co Ltd.'s lab trials on DOCSIS 3.1 technology conducted in Melbourne managed to achieve downstream speeds of 1Gbps, the top speed available for retailers on the Fiber-to-the-Premises network. NBN is planning more lab tests of DOCSIS 3.1 in August, followed by in-field trials in December and a planned commercial launch in 2018.

* New Zealand-based telco Chorus tapped Shaun Philp to serve as its general manager, human resources starting early September.


* Bharti Airtel is in talks with Alphabet Inc. unit Google Inc. for the deployment of Wi-Fi hotspots as part of the latter's station internet project called RailTel, a source told The Economic Times (India). Airtel recently inked a partnership with social networking giant Facebook for deployment of 20,000 WiFi hotspots.

* India wants Apple Inc. to commit to investment and creation of jobs before it considers the company's request for tax concessions in manufacturing iPhones in the country, people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg News. The Indian government is not in favor of giving company-specific tax concessions, but it is prepared to look into the sector as a whole for concessions to enhance manufacturing in the country, the people reportedly said.

* BSNL partnered with mobile payment provider AdPay to launch Aerovoyce, India's first virtual telecom company. The state-run telco expects to gain at least 5 billion Indian rupees from the MVNO business annually, BSNL chairman Anupam Shrivastava told The Economic Times (India).

* South Asian content provider YuppTV inked a content deal with Indian film studio Yash Raj Films to boost the content offerings of its movie-on-demand service YuppFlix, Television Post reports.

* India's Toonz Media Group partnered with U.S.-based ReachMe.TV to launch the Toonz TV channel in the U.S., which will feature animation content and interactive features and games that incorporate AR and VR, according to The Hindu Business Line.

* Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd. will launch three HD channels targeted at South Indian audiences. According to Television Post, these are Zee Tamil HD, Zee Telugu HD and Zee Kannada HD.


Apple bets on artificial intelligence, augmented reality: Analysts said Apple's June 5 product announcements held important insight into the direction the company will take as its legacy products mature.

The Communicator: Wireless consolidation: Killing competition or 'turbocharging' it: Executives from Sprint and T-Mobile have each spent the last couple of weeks making the case that a tie-up between the two companies would be good for competition and consumers. But some industry observers are not so convinced.

Washington Watch: How 5G might shape future spectrum demand: Though the broadcast incentive auction only recently ended, promising to free up 70 MHz of low-band spectrum for mobile broadband, the hunt for more spectrum is far from over thanks to the transition to next-generation wireless technology 5G.

Q&A: Counter terrorism expert: scapegoating Facebook, Google will not curb extremism: The internet continues to take center stage in the fight against extremism. S&P Global Market Intelligence spoke to counter terrorism expert Marc-André Argentino to examine global digital counter terrorism strategies.

Governors, cities and businesses promise leadership after Paris exit: As President Donald Trump plans to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris climate accord, over 900 businesses, along with numerous educators, governors and mayors, prepare to take up the gauntlet to fight climate change.


Economics of TV & Film: Disney claims 2016 wholesale video crown: Analysis of 462 video releases in 2016 showed that wholesale video revenue increased 0.8% to $2.62 billion from $2.60 billion in 2015. Walt Disney was at the top of the wholesale video revenue market share chart with a 28.6% share.

Multichannel Trends: May 2017 cable system sales summary: The cable system sales summary lists monthly deal data including basics, homes passed, total value, value per sub and per home passed, and cash flow multiples.

Nozomi Ibayashi, Myungran Ha, Frances Wang, Wil Hathaway and Kevin Osmond contributed to this report. The Daily Dose has an editorial deadline of 7 a.m. Hong Kong time. Some external links may require a subscription.